If Facebook’s 2017 streaming deal with Major League Baseball was a home run, the coming season’s new deal is an easy grand slam.
The social network has landed exclusive streaming rights for the broadcast of 25 MLB games from the coming season, starting on April 4. That means more games on Facebook this year than there were last year (25 now, vs. 20 then), but exclusivity is the key here.
In the U.S., Facebook will be the only place you can watch those games. They’ll be viewable through the MLB Live Facebook portal, and will come with extras like highlight reels and team-specific recaps.
The first game, airing on April 4, will be a match-up between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. Additional games will follow on a weekly basis, with all of them airing during weekday afternoons. Facebook users outside the country will also be able to watch the games on MLB Live, but the exclusivity only applies inside the U.S.
Clearly, the social network’s 2017 pact with MLB was a success. Last year, 20 games streamed in all, live on Friday nights. The 2018 deal may move out of that prime Friday slot, but making Facebook the only place to watch them is a big deal.
It’s also another win to notch for the social network. Even before the 2017 deal, Facebook had already been making moves toward streaming sporting events. Professional baseball is certainly the biggest deal, but there are also streaming deals in place for Mexican soccer, American soccer, table tennis, and Crossfit.