Facebook is close to adding some live sports to its growing livestreaming platform with a reported deal with Major League Baseball in the works.
According to Reuters, Facebook and MLB are in talks to livestream one MLB game per week. The deal for Facebook would give the social media platform a win in its current battle with Twitter for livestreaming sports rights. Twitter is coming off a livestreaming deal with the NFL and has recently added other deals with the PGA.
Facebook and the MLB are reportedly in advanced talks regarding the deal but it is unclear which games would be streamed. Of course, one game a week would only represent a tiny fraction of the total games played in one MLB season, which comes out to about 2,430, or a little more than 100 per week.
For the MLB, a deal with Facebook livestreaming deal would give it access to a large audience—Facebook counted 1.23 billion daily active users in 2016—and would go further toward relaxing the league’s attitude around livestreaming games.
For Facebook, a deal with the MLB would be well-timed considering the ratings rebound the league experienced during the 2016 playoffs and MLB games would add to the premium content experience the platform is building around livestreaming.
Facebook has begun looking into licensing content from TV studios and other producers in an effort to beef up video offerings on its platform.
Ricky Van Veen, Facebook’s recently hired head of global creative strategy, told Recode that Facebook is looking at putting more money into growing its content.
“Earlier this year, we started rolling out the Video tab, a dedicated place for video on Facebook. Our goal is to kickstart an ecosystem of partner content for the tab, so we're exploring funding some seed video content, including original and licensed scripted, unscripted, and sports content, that takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook. Our goal is to show people what is possible on the platform and learn as we continue to work with video partners around the world,” said Van Veen in a statement provided to the publication.