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Facebook, YouTube strike streaming deals with Major League Baseball

EPA-EFE/MIKE NELSON

Facebook Inc. reached an exclusive deal with Major League Baseball to stream 25 regular season games this year on Facebook Watch in the United States. Every game also will be available globally on the show Page, excluding select international markets. The MLB’s first digital-only national broadcasts will mostly be Wednesday afternoon matchups, meaning the social media giant won’t be airing primetime games this season. The first game will be streamed on April 4 and feature Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets. The package will be produced by MLB Network which promises to “debut a variety of presentation and interactivity innovations” across streaming devices “specially designed for intuitively watching, sharing and interacting on Facebook.”

YouTube and Major League Baseball extended their partnership that makes YouTube TV the presenting sponsor of the 2018 and 2019 World Series, including a season-long First Pitch partnership, which will include YouTube TV branding during the first pitches and additional promos. According to the statement, the renewed deal also offers expanded baseball coverage to all YouTube TV members with the addition of the MLB Network to its channel lineup. In the future, YouTube TV members will also be able to add MLB.tv for an additional fee. “Our historic partnership with MLB was a first of its kind. From live programming morphing into a YouTube TV spot, to prominent in-stadium placements, our innovative partnership allowed us to build awareness for YouTube TV and have a voice during one of the biggest live sporting events of the year,” said Angela Courtin, Global Head of YouTube TV & Originals Marketing. “MLB has been a great long-term partner and we are excited to renew our World Series partnership as well as play a role in games throughout the season with the inaugural First Pitch sponsorship, bringing more ways for fans to enjoy their favorite teams cable-free with YouTube TV.”

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