Facebook continues its aggressive push for more live video content as it signs a new streaming deal with the Major League Baseball (MLB) to stream 20 games this season. The broadcasts, drawn from a feed from one of the participating team’s local broadcast rightsholders, mostly consist of nationally telecast games and will go live weekly on Friday nights, starting with the match between the Colorado Rockies and the Cincinnati Reds tonight.
What Brands Need To Do
Rumors of Facebook talking with sports leagues and media owners to get more live sports content have been swirling around since this February. This MLB deal confirms the social giant’s play for live sports, which mirrors Twitter’s sports-focused strategy for live video as well. Facebook has started to monetize its live video content by adding mid-roll ad breaks, which provides brands with a valuable channel to reach sports fans who are not reachable via traditional TV ads.
Live sports are widely regarded as the last bastion against the declining live TV ratings, but with more and more sports leagues signing deals like this one to make their content available on digital platforms, more and more viewers are migrating to those new platforms as well. Therefore, brands seeking to reach sports fans will need to follow along by adjusting their media mix.
Source: The Verge