Play ball … faster! MLB, union to meet on pace of game

MLB and Facebook are joining forces to bring fans 20 live-streamed, regular-season games this season, with one game being broadcast over Facebook Live - without blackouts - each Friday for the rest of the 2017 campaign, the league and social media network announced on Thursday.

To view the full article, register now. They'll be available on the official MLB Facebook page. The first game will be the Colorado Rockies vs. the Cincinnati Reds at 7:10 p.m. ET.

"It's something we'd really like to do in 2019", Manfred told reporters. Facebook says it will stream a "feed from a participating team's local broadcast rightsholder" each week. Major League Baseball also uses Facebook Live to bring fans behind the scenes, including Toronto Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson's off-season workouts, batting practice on Opening Day, and spring training when Sean Casey and Robert Flores answered questions from fans at Cubs camp.

Last year, for example, Twitter secured a deal with the NFL to live stream Thursday Night Football games, followed by deals with the Major League Baseball and NHL to live stream one out-of-market game per week.

"The chatter and rituals in the stands are often as meaningful to fans as the action on the diamond".

Twitter also partnered with the National Basketball Association to stream 360-degree videos of the National Basketball Association finals games a year ago. Twitter previously bought the rights to air Thursday Night Football games with the NFL last season, which Amazon has now picked for the coming season to offer to its Prime customers.

And with teams from countries like Israel, Italy and the Netherlands all having success there, the appeal of playing games in other countries has become more and more logical.

Talks between Facebook and Major League Baseball were first reported in February.

Vanessa Coleman