YouTube TV to carry MLB Network, sponsor next 2 World Series
YouTube TV to carry MLB Network, sponsor next 2 World Series
09 March, 2018, 20:52
It's the first time that Facebook has secured exclusive rights to a major USA sporting event, and the first time that Major League Baseball has had "digital-only national broadcasts".
Major League Baseball and YouTube, which is owned by Google, first reached a deal ahead of last year's playoffs that made the company the World Series' presenting sponsor. Neither MLB nor Facebook disclosed the financial terms, though people with knowledge of the matter put the price at $30 million to $35 million.
Most of the Major League Baseball games Facebook will webcast are on Wednesdays, and the package begins April 4 with Phillies vs. Mets.
All games in the Facebook deal will be played on weekday afternoons, with a new game on the social network each week.
The first game on Facebook Watch will be a matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets at Citi Field on Wednesday, April 4. Viewers will be able to watch on their phones, tablets, laptops and other web-connected devices, including televisions at home.
The games will be produced by the MLB Network, meaning they'll have a broadcast look and feel. That is expected to generate innovation around the game's broadcast presentation with interactive elements and production value geared specifically geared toward Facebook's platform. However, the average age of a user on Facebook is 25-34 with the 18-24 demographic following in second place. The integrated marketing campaign's success throughout October 2017 led YouTube and Major League Baseball to extend and broaden the World Series partnership for an additional two years. The company did acquire the rights to NFL recaps and highlights, giving the league a way to reach fans on the social media service. This established YouTube TV as the presenting sponsor of the championship series, saw it promote its over-the-top TV offering as an alternative to cable for accessing live baseball, and also gave YouTube content creators behind-the-scenes access to the 2017 World Series in a move created to "bridge digital audiences to the World Series".
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