Q. I just read that Facebook has a deal with Major League Baseball to show a bunch of games this season. I’m a Yankees fan so my question is: Will any Facebook games with the Yanks still be on the Yes channel? — Marty, New York.
Marty, as you know, Facebook yesterday signed an agreement with Major League Baseball to show 25 weekday afternoon games this season on its Facebook Watch page. The social media site had the rights to stream some games in 2017, but it was not an exclusive deal, meaning other channels and networks could show them.
But what about the 2018 deal? Is it an exclusive?
Well, I called MLB’s press office yesterday and was told it’s an exclusive all right, meaning the 25 games will not air on regional sports channels, or any other networks. For instance, if a Yankees-Blue Jays game was designated for Facebook Watch, it would not air on the Yes Network.
I also asked the press office about MLB,TV, the league’s online package of out-of-market games that costs $115.99 for the season. Will you still be able to stream the Facebook games on MLB.TV?
“I don’t believe so,” the MLB spokesman said.
The uncertainty in his answer suggests the Facebook contract is still fresh and the league hasn’t quite worked out all the ramifications. So I will update this story if and when I get more information.
Meanwhile, Facebook and MLB has revealed which games will stream on Facebook Watch in April and they are:
Wednesday, April 4: Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets, 1:10 p.m.
Wednesday, April 11: Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 1:15 p.m.
Wednesday, April 18: Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 4:07 p.m.
Thursday, April 26: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 1:05 p.m.
More games and dates will be announced later in the year. And Marty, you may notice that the Yankees are not on the schedule. Yet.
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— Phillip Swann