ENTERTAINMENT BRIEFS


YouTube TV to carry MLB Network

NEW YORK (AP) — YouTube TV has started carrying the MLB Network as part of a deal that makes the company presenting sponsor of the next two World Series.

Major League Baseball announced the agreement Thursday. YouTube TV, an over-the-top service launched last year, also will carry the streaming service MLB.tv, available to consumers for an added fee.

MLB and YouTube, which is owned by Google, first reached a deal ahead of last year’s playoffs that made the company the World Series’ presenting sponsor.

Twitter to stream Major League soccer

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter will stream a Major League Soccer match each weekend as part of a three-year contract announced Friday.

The 24 live telecasts will take the video from Univision’s national Spanish-language telecast and use English-language commentary via SAP.

The streams will be available in the local markets of the competing teams. Twitter’s schedule starts with Los Angeles FC’s match Saturday at Real Salt Lake.

Facebook teams with Major League Baseball

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is getting deeper into the professional sports streaming game, partnering with Major League Baseball to air 25 weekday afternoon games in an exclusive deal.

The games will be available to Facebook users in the U.S. on Facebook Watch, the company’s video feature announced last August, via the MLB Live show page. Facebook said Friday that recorded broadcasts also will be available globally, excluding select international markets.

The package, MLB’s first digital-only national broadcast agreement, precludes teams from televising those games on their regional sports networks.

Facebook’s selection will come from among the nine games per season teams can lose from their local telecasts to national video partners, which include Fox and ESPN.

MLB will receive $30 million to $35 million, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the amount was not released.

The games will be produced by the MLB Network for Facebook Watch, with interactive and social elements that differentiate them from live streaming.

Facebook’s first-month schedule includes Philadelphia-New York Mets on April 4, Milwaukee-St. Louis on April 11, Kansas City-Toronto on April 18 and Arizona-Philadelphia on April 26.

Facebook had a package of 20 non-exclusive Friday night games last year that began in mid-May and used broadcast feeds from the participating teams.

Facebook, Twitter and Amazon and other tech companies are in a race to acquire sports streaming rights, which can be lucrative and potentially boost user loyalty. The deal comes at a time when leagues are worrying about cord-cutters causing a decrease in viewers among cable television networks.

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