Manfred hopes for regular-season MLB games in Europe in 2019


Facebook will carry a live game nationally each Friday starting with Colorado at Cincinnati this week.

That adds to a growing list of smaller niche sports that Facebook has deals to stream, including Mexican soccer, American soccer, table tennis, and Crossfit.

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The first game will be between the Rockies and Reds.

"This is very important for us to experiment [with Facebook]", MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said, according to Forbes' Maury Brown.

The Facebook deal with MLB is the latest between social media networks and pro sports leagues.

Terms weren't disclosed, but Facebook brought enough firepower to the bargaining table to bounce Twitter from its Friday time slot with Major League Baseball. Additional games and times will be announced later on.

"It's something we'd really like to do in 2019", Manfred told the Associated Press.

The partnership, announced Thursday, reinforces Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's plans to establish the network as a destination not only for sharing news feeds but for watching live video.

"We'd love to have a new system in place for the signing season 2017-2018", Manfred said, noting that different rules apply to players coming to Major League Baseball from different countries. Since then, Twitter has also made deals for baseball games.

This MLB partnership is another example of Facebook kicking its premium video aspirations into high gear. Major League Baseball also uses Facebook Live to bring fans behind the scenes, including Toronto Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson's off-season workouts, batting practice on Opening Day, and spring training when Sean Casey and Robert Flores answered questions from fans at Cubs camp.