Facebook to stream MLB games

Posted by Shazy on Sunday, March 20, 2011

Facebook to stream MLB games

The social-media giant continues its foray into the video market with live baseball.


Facebook has started a little spring training of its own.

The social-networking giant is offering users live streaming of Major League Baseball games. The service was introduced this week, featuring a game of the day from baseball's spring training season.

The games are largely a promotion to lure subscribers to MLB.TV's $120 season-long subscription package. But the move also looks like a warm-up to Facebook's ongoing push in to the nascent streaming-video market.

Last week, Facebook and Warner Brothers Digital started a movie-rental demo with a $3 Batman video, "The Dark Knight." While a small step, it was seen as a threatening venture into the streaming businesses of Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN).

The move into live sports, however, is a bold new direction that puts Facebook on a direct path toward one of the prime offerings of cable shops like Comcast (CMCSA), Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Cablevision (CVC).

Facebook's MLB service comes after a recent push by Apple (AAPL) to sell a $15 MLB.TV application for iPad users.

Facebook has a large built-in audience of 600 million users that it can treat to expanded service offerings. But rivals have the challenge of trying to sell expansive service offerings to a not-so-loyal subscriber base.

Source: Money