Facebook Watch and Major League Baseball have reached a deal that will see 25 weekday games — one a week — streamed exclusively and live worldwide on the social media giant during the 2018 season. It’s the first major sports deal for Facebook, and will also mark the league’s first digital-only national broadcasts.
The 25 games, all day games, will be distributed through the MLB Live show Page, excluding select international markets. The games will be produced by MLB Network specifically for Facebook Watch, and will feature interactivity specifically for the platform. No announcers have been set.
The package begins April 4 with a Phillies-Mets game at 1:10 ET from Citi Field. The regular season begins March 29.
Also as part of the deal, the league will produce curated content for Facebook Watch, like on-demand highlight packages for every regular season game, as well as team-specific recaps.
“We’re excited to extend our partnership with Major League Baseball to make Facebook Watch a home for exclusive, live games every week this season,” said Dan Reed, Facebook Head of Global Sports Partnerships, in announcing the deal, which was signed off on by all 30 teams. “Community and conversation are central to both baseball and Facebook, and MLB Network’s innovative broadcasts will bring these interactive and social elements of the game to life to fans around the world in new ways on our platform.”
Last season, Facebook livestreamed 20 Friday games as a simulcast with the teams’ local television broadcasts.
Here is April’s schedule, subject to change (all times ET). The games will be announced as the season goes on:
April 4: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets, 1:10 PM
April 11: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals, 1:15 PM
April 18: Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue Jays, 4:07 PM
April 26: Arizona Diamondbacks at Philadelphia Phillies, 1:05 PM