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Facebook follows Twitter, Amazon, expands live sports coverage after MLB deal

Facebook will show 20 live games on a Friday night as part of the deal

Facebook has added to its live sports streaming portfolio after partnering with Major League Baseball (MLB).

The deal will see Facebook broadcast 20 live games on Friday nights throughout the season to users within the US.

Rather than shooting its own broadcast of the games, Facebook’s coverage will instead be simulcasts of the feeds provided by participating team’s local broadcast partner.

Dan Reed, Facebook's head of global sports partnerships, said the deal had the potential to spark a new era of engagement within the sport.

"Baseball games are uniquely engaging community experiences, as the chatter and rituals in the stands are often as meaningful to fans as the action on the diamond,” said Reed.

"By distributing a live game per week on Facebook, Major League Baseball can re-imagine this social experience on a national scale.”

It marks something of a turnaround for the social media company which last year ruled out making a bid for media rights for sports. However, since then, Twitter and Amazon have shown their hand after the NFL announced a streaming deal with Amazon and Twitter partnered with the PGA Tour.

The first game in the deal will see the Colorado Rockies play the Cincinnati Reds and will broadcast tonight (May 19th) on the MLB official Facebook page.

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