took another step to bolster its video offerings Thursday, announcing a deal with Major League Baseball to stream 20 games this year. The games will air free on Facebook every Friday night, starting this week with the Colorado Rockies at the Cincinnati Reds. The deal is not exclusive, so Facebook will piggyback local broadcasts of the games. Dan Reed, Facebook’s head of global sports partnerships, said the chatty nature of watching baseball is a perfect fit for the platform. “The chatter and rituals in the stands are often as meaningful to fans as the action on the diamond. . . . By distributing a live game per week on Facebook, Major League Baseball can re-imagine this social experience on a national scale,” Reed said in a statement. Tech companies have been targeting live sports recently in an effort to increase video ad revenue. Facebook is also expected to announce a deal to show professional video game contests. In March, Facebook signed a deal to stream at least 22 Major League Soccer games this year. In April, Amazon.com Inc.
signed a blockbuster $50 million deal to stream Thursday-night National Football League games this coming season. Twitter Inc.
also live-streams some baseball and National Hockey League games.