Reuters is reporting that the social network is looking to do a deal with the league that will let it stream one MLB game per week — very similar to Twitter’s arrangement with the NFL to stream Thursday Night Football last season. That experiment proved out the case for social media-as-distributors: the first NFL game to be streamed on Twitter drew more than 2.3 million viewers. Facebook also is in the midst of building a premium video option, so the idea makes all kinds of sense for the company.
The deal would bring new fans to the MLB and offer it a way to engage Millennials, who famously eschew traditional live-linear TV for other consumption methods. It would also give it more international exposure; access online would allow folks from baseball-crazed China, for instance, to follow the world’s top league live.
Baseball has been dabbling in digital experiments a bit of late: Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports teamed up last autumn on a live digital baseball pre-game show entitled Live @ The World Series, which aired on location from every game of the Fall Classic. Episodes aired live on the @MLBonFOX Facebook page and were shared across various Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated Facebook channels, reaching a combined audience of 13.5 million users.