Facebook is currently negotiating a content deal with Major League Baseball (MLB) as the Menlo Park-based social media giant is interested in streaming MLB games on its platform, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Facebook is reportedly looking to stream one MLB game per week throughout the upcoming 2017 MLB season that's running from April to October. Industry watchers are interpreting this report as another step in Facebook's long-term strategy to offer more live sports content on its platform as some of its competitors like Twitter are currently trying to do the same. The report implies that Facebook is interested in a deal that would not only provide it with rights to stream one MLB game per week but also prevent other social media companies from doing the same.
While this move could also be attributed to Facebook's video push, the company would have likely been interested in streaming sports events regardless of that strategy seeing how sports are still able to attract a massive audience interested in watching them live, unlike many other types of content. Naturally, Facebook is primarily looking to score rights to large brands like the MLB as they have the potential to draw the largest number of users in the United States. It remains to be seen whether Facebook will manage to come to an agreement with the MLB but sources claim that the two parties are already close to finalizing their talks. While Facebook obviously stands to benefit from such a deal, the MLB would also be interested in collaborating with the largest social media network on the planet seeing how it would consequently gain access to a new, younger audience, several sports consultants told Reuters.
Facebook's interest in broadcasting sports events isn't limited to the United States as the Menlo Park-based company recently also secured a deal that allows it to stream 46 soccer matches of the Mexican Liga MX. The firm previously streamed other soccer competitions, as well as basketball and table tennis. Overall, it remains to be seen whether the aforementioned partnership will materialize, but it's not hard to imagine its potential implementations in Facebook's existing platforms and the company's rumored TV app.