MLB-Facebook combo presents first full-length game this week

Major League Baseball and Facebook are getting together this week for an interesting first: a major league baseball game that will be broadcast exclusively through Facebook.

Is Facebook going to be the new sports channel for cord-cutters?

Probably not, but it does raise some interesting factors and possibilities. MLB.com says:

The idea of a streaming game became reality last May, when MLB and Facebook partnered to live stream simulcasts of participating teams’ local television broadcasts. The concept is now being expanded, with MLB Network’s Emmy-winning team producing 25 games over the course of the season exclusively for Facebook. The games will take place primarily on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and local TV networks will not air them.

What’s MLB going to get out of this? After all, it has ESPN and MLB.TV and local television broadcasting in 30 cities.

Well, for one, it gets Facebook’s audience (those interested in baseball, of course) and all of the data that go along with it. There’s not just who the audience is, but there is what they watch, when they watch, how long they watch, and multiple other facts.

Then there’s the interactivity that the Facebook platform provides:

The broadcast crew will take a social-first approach and interact with the audience throughout the broadcast to bring the ballpark experience to Facebook.

And this won’t be the only time this season that MLB and Facebook get together. Here are the other games that are scheduled for a Facebook-only broadcast:

• Wednesday, April 4: PHI-NYM, 1:10 p.m.
• Wednesday, April 11: MIL-STL, 1:15 p.m.
• Wednesday, April 18: KC-TOR, 4:07 p.m.
• Thursday, April 26: ARI-PHI, 1:05 p.m.
• Thursday, May 3: LAD-ARI, 3:40 p.m. 
• Thursday, May 10: SF-PHI, 1:05 p.m. 
• Wednesday, May 16: TEX-SEA, 3:40 p.m. 
• Thursday, May 24: LAA-TOR, 12:37 p.m. 
• Wednesday, May 30: STL-MIL, 1:10 p.m. 

Here’s how to watch the game.

How to watch on mobile and desktop

1. Search for “MLB Live” on Facebook

2. Follow the “MLB Live” show page

How to watch on TV

1. Download the Facebook video app on your TV or streaming device and search for “MLB Live”

2. Or stream the game from your phone to a TV on the same WiFi network by tapping the TV icon.

Source: Wednesday’s Phils-Mets game airs on Facebook

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Jim Stovall, a retired journalism prof, is now a novelist, self publisher, watercolorist, gardener, woodworker and beekeeper -- among others things.

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