You know that embattled website in the news for allowing an app to hijack user data to target voters in the 2016 elections? The one where your co-worker posts thousands of pictures of her dog and your uncle posts political rants? That’s right, Facebook! Have you ever thought to yourself, “sure, I get tons of obviously fake news articles and updates on people I hated from high school, but where is the live sports content?”
Well now you’re in luck. Earlier this year, Facebook reached a deal for the exclusive rights to broadcast 25 MLB games this season, the first time a sports league has granted exclusive rights to the social media giant. Already, a Mets/Phillies game aired on Facebook a few weeks ago, and it drew pretty mixed reviews. The production put the scorebug on the left-side of the screen, with a large graphics bar at the top, which made the picture for game action to be much smaller than usual. The broadcast also included viewer comments for some ungodly reason, and those cluttered the screen even further.
(1/2) With the combined budgets of the MLB and Facebook, how does the Facebook Watch stream of NYM/PHI look like a AA broadcast? pic.twitter.com/MSI0G994jH— Nick Alberico (@PurpseSeekngNck) April 4, 2018
You do have the option to turn comments off by swiping right on your mobile device or if you hover over the live video and clicking on the quiet mode button. The broadcast also removed some of the intrusive graphics by mid-game after complaints. Facebook is still figuring things out and learning on the fly, and at least they can make changes quickly. Fans didn’t seemed thrilled with the first experience, but there are ways they can improve, and it does allow access to more fans. The game is broadcast free of charge, with zero ads (there are pre-taped segments in-between innings).
For the Royals/Blue Jays Game, old friend Jeremy Guthrie will provide analysis along with former outfielder Cliff Floyd, with Scott Braun on play-by-play, and Alexa Datt as the in-game reporter. You can find the game live here, with a countdown clock until the game begins. The game is also available on Facebook mobile by opening the app and searching for “MLB Live”, and you can even watch on TV if you have a Facebook app on your streaming device, again just search for “MLB Live”.
There will be hiccups and some adjustments to get used to, but ultimately, this is more baseball available to put in your eyeballs. I don’t want to go all “in my day” on you, but when I was a kid, we had about 40-50 Royals games total broadcast on TV. For the rest, you had to listen to Denny Matthews and Fred White and imagine what Wade Boggs, Don Mattingly, and Jose Canseco looked like at Royals Stadium.
So while Mark Zuckerberg may not be the most likable man in America right now, he’s giving us free baseball to watch. Just make sure you check your privacy settings before you turn on the Royals today. Game time starts at 3 p.m. CT.