The games will not be available in certain "select worldwide markets", but Facebook and Major League Baseball did not identify which ones. The first Facebook-streamed game will feature our own Mets playing the the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on Wednesday, April 4.
According to Bloomberg, Facebook paid between $30 and $35 million for the rights to air 25 games throughout the Major League Baseball season. The game will start at 1:10 p.m. EST. The games will be available Facebook users in the US on Facebook Watch, the company's video feature, via the MLB Live show page Facebook said Friday, March 9, 2018.
The Royals' April 18 game at Toronto won't be shown on Fox Sports Kansas City as planned. First Pitch will showcase the YouTube TV brand during the first pitches of games on MLB Network and MLB.tv, and will be amplified on the MLB.com and MLB social channels.
It's the first time a major USA league has agreed to show regular season games exclusively on Facebook, which has been building a portfolio of live sports. As a few of many examples, CBS has for years offered NCAA Tournament games online, and NFL fans watch the league's England games on Yahoo.
While the games will be available globally, they will not be exclusive outside the United States. These will be available on Facebook Watch in the US and around the world.
"It is a major creative step forward in serving our diverse, passionate community of fans, who will enjoy a uniquely interactive experience watching our games on Facebook each week", Petitti said.
Terms weren't disclosed, but Facebook will add that number in weekday afternoon baseball games (mainly Wednesdays) to a growing sports lineup.
Facebook, Twitter and Amazon and other tech companies are in a race to acquire sports streaming rights, which can be lucrative and potentially boost user loyalty. That is expected to generate innovation around the game's broadcast presentation with interactive elements and production value geared specifically geared toward Facebook's platform.