Baseball season is just around the corner, og 2017 might bring a new venue for America’s pastime. According to a report from Reuters, Facebook is in talks with Major League Baseball to live stream some of the league’s games during the upcoming season.
The deal would reportedly give Facebook streaming rights to one game per week, similar to Twitter’s agreement with the National Football League to broadcast its Thursday night games during the 2016 sæson.
The agreement would mark a win for Facebook, which fell behind Twitter in claiming rights for live broadcasts. While Facebook rolled out Facebook Live and encouraged celebrities and brands to use the platform to stream, Twitter began locking up the rights to broadcast sports and other noteworthy events.
For MLB, the weekly broadcast could provide access to a new demographic of viewers that they game currently doesn’t reach. Facebook reported during its fourth quarter earnings that is has more than 1.86 billion daily active users around the world. EN Pew Research study fra 2016 found 88 percent of adults in the United States between the ages of 18 og 29 use Facebook.
Details of the deal are still sparse, though it is reported the conversations between the social network and the MLB are in advanced stages. It is unclear what Facebook will pay for streaming rights and what games will be broadcast on the platform.
The deal would give Facebook its second major sports partnership, following an agreement with Mexican soccer league Liga MX and Univision. That partnership will include 46 matches being broadcast on Facebook over the course of 2017.
Facebook has also streamed global basketball games, soccer matches and table tennis over the last several months.
Last summer, Twitter announced it would stream one MLB game per week. Those games were not nationally televised broadcasts but were instead regional, “out of market” games, meaning users in the local TV market for the broadcast would not be able to access the stream.
Twitter also secured the rights to stream one National Hockey League game per week on its platform. Late last year, the site also started working with the National Basketball League to create two TV-style shows that broadcast exclusively on Twitter.