Facebook Is in Talks to Stream Major League Baseball Games – Bloomberg

Facebook Inc. is in talks to stream Major League Baseball games, according to a person familiar with the matter, the latest sign professional sports leagues are embracing social media as a way to reach viewers.

The deal would involve one game a week in the coming season, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. An agreement with Facebook would need to be approved by Major League Baseball’s owners, the person said. Willem Suyderhoud, a spokesman for Facebook, and Matthew Gould, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, declined to comment.

Sports leagues, like all creators of TV programming, are struggling to adjust to massive changes in the way consumers view video. Ratings of sports on traditional TV outlets have fallen as more viewers spend time on their phones and tablets instead of watching cable. Working with Facebook could also help attract younger viewers to Major League Baseball, which has the oldest audience of the big sports leagues.

A deal with Facebook wouldn’t be the first such partnership in the sports world. The National Football League streamed games last year on Twitter. More deals are expected for Facebook, which has a sports partnerships division at its Menlo Park, California headquarters. The company struck an agreement with Univision Holdings Inc. earlier this month to stream Mexican professional soccer games.

The talks with Major League Baseball were reported earlier by Reuters.


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