After Streaming 26 Games Last Season, Facebook will Stream Just Six in 2019
Since 2017, Facebook and MLB baseball have partnered to bring live games on the social media giant’s website. During the first year, Facebook aired 20 regular-season games, which were simulcast from the local RSN feed. Last season, Facebook paid a reported $35 million to air 26 games, with 25 exclusive telecasts on Facebook Watch, the social-media company’s streaming video platform.
Last season, broadcasts received 123 million views (or at least three seconds of stream time) with the largest broadcast earning 7.1 million views. Despite touting the success of the partnership, which was said to bring in an average viewer 20 years younger than that on traditional TV, broadcasts been cut back dramatically for 2019. During this season, Facebook will air just six games, all of which will be non-exclusive.
In a statement, Rob Shaw, Facebook’s sports partnerships lead said: “We look forward to testing a new model for live games, which should help the league continue to reach a younger and more global audience.”
The exact games have not been determined, but the expectation is that Facebook will air about one game per month.
Cord-cutters though will have ample opportunities to stream MLB games this season. Of the 30 MLB teams, 24 of them are now available to stream using a Live TV Streaming Service like Sling TV or PlayStation Vue. Twitter also expanded their deal with MLB, which will bring instant highlights of every homerun hit, as well as featured live at-bats from the MLB Twitter amount.
Earlier this year, sports streaming service, DAZN partnered with MLB to launch a live look-in show with called ChangeUp hosted by Adnan Virk and HQ Trivia’s Scott Rogowsky. ESPN also announced that their $5 a month OTT service ESPN+ will for the second year in a row, broadcast a daily out-of-market MLB game.