A screenshot from last week’s MLB game on Facebook. (Via MLB Live on Facebook)
For any Mariners fans hoping to watch today’s game against Texas, your only option is Facebook.
That’s because of a deal Major League Baseball inked in March to stream 25 games on Facebook Watch, the new video platform created by the social media giant last year.
It’s part of an experiment that allows MLB to test new ways to air live baseball as more and more sports content is streamed online. It’s also part of Facebook’s push to get more sports video content on its site as it competes with other tech giants — Amazon and its deal with the NFL, for example — who are doing the same.
The Mariners vs. Rangers game on Thursday at 12:40 p.m PT is the sixth matchup to air on Facebook this season. The first-of-its-kind deal is exclusive, meaning games that stream on Facebook will only be available on Facebook — no TV broadcast on ROOT Sports, no option on MLB.TV, etc. (The Mariners will carry the game via radio, however). It’s different than MLB’s streaming deal with Twitter, which is not exclusive.
The video stream is free, but you’ll need to have a Facebook account and head to the MLB Live page.
The exclusivity has frustrated some fans who prefer to watch the game via cable, or don’t want to use Facebook, particularly in light of the recent data privacy scandal.
But for MLB, this is a way to experiment with a new video platform and offer a more interactive viewing experience to fans around the world. Facebook has 1.45 billion active daily users.
MLB incorporates social media posts in its live Facebook game streams.
The game on Wednesday will be produced by MLB Network, with Harold Reynolds and …read more