Facebook has agreed to a deal with Major League Baseball which will provide the social media platform with exclusive streaming rights to 25 afternoon games in the United States. Terms of the deal haven’t been confirmed but sources close to the situation say the price was between $30-$35 million dollars.
MLB becomes the first major league in the United States to broadcast regular season games exclusively on Facebook. The social company has been aggressively increasing its offerings of live sports programming. The company previously struck deals with Fox Sports to stream the UEFA Champions League and with Univision to air live games of Mexico’s top soccer league. Facebook also streamed 47 smaller conference college basketball games this year and 20 non-exclusive MLB games last year.
The games are expected to air on weekday afternoons, primarily on Wednesdays. The first broadcast will be on April 4th between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.
MLB Network will produce the broadcasts in order to assure top flight broadcast quality. However, Facebook has been granted the freedom to experiment with items such as social integration and unique graphics in order to make the games more popular with younger viewers.
The deal also gives Facebook the ability to offer MLB games globally. Exclusivity though is not an option outside of the U.S.
With 1.4 billion users actively using the service, Facebook remains the world’s biggest social network. The company generated $40 billion dollars in ad revenue last year.