Facebook in Talks to Live Stream MLB Games (Report)
The social network recently struck a deal with Univision to live-stream Mexican soccer matches.
Facebook is in advanced talks with Major League Baseball about live-streaming one game a week during the 2017 season, according to a Tuesday report from Reuters citing sources familiar with the talks.
The social network has made live video a key piece of its content strategy over the last year, paying media partners to experiment with the format for distribution on Facebook as well as encouraging its 1.2 billion monthly active users to create their own live videos through an expansive advertising campaign. Sports is one area in which the company is expected to continue to invest further, especially as it builds up its new video tab with professionally produced programming.
Last week, Facebook inked a deal with Univision to live-stream nearly 50 Mexican soccer games in English this year. Facebook Live also was used to broadcast nine Team U.S.A. exhibition basketball games last year. The company also was said to be in talks with the NFL last year about buying the streaming rights to its package of Thursday Night Football games that ultimately went to Twitter. But a high-profile deal for live streaming rights to MLB games would mark a significant move for Facebook to begin competing for television advertising dollars.
MLB, meanwhile, has long been on the forefront of live-streaming. It began offering live streams of out-of-market games for fans in 2002 and just last year spun its streaming technology business, BAMTech, into a stand-alone company that is partially owned by Disney and the NHL.
The Reuters report did not specify which games are a part of the talks.
Representatives for Facebook and MLB declined to comment.