Though the fate of the Oakland A’s remains in limbo, the South Bay is still getting a taste of Major League Baseball thanks to Facebook. Throughout the preseason, live games will be streamed to the social networking site, courtesy of MLB. “It’s an experiment,” says Bob Bowman, MLB.com’s CEO. “What we’re trying to do is figure out who these fans are, whether they like it, and whether they share it.”
The videos appear on a small screen on Facebook. By clicking on them, users are redirected to MLB.TV, where they can be seen on a large screen for free, at least during the preseason. MLB hopes that enough people will get hooked that they sign up for the site. The cost ranges from $20 for a single month of MLB.TV ($100 per year) to $25 per month for MLB.TV Premium ($120 per year). The latter includes home and away broadcasts, live game DVR controls, and multigame views for people with more than one favorite team (or the need to cheer on one team while booing another).
The service will only be available during preseason, though it is possible that MLB will offer at least one free game during the season itself. What they want from Facebook is to see how well it can actually drive traffic to their site.
Facebook isn’t getting anything from the deal yet, apart from its direct association with America’s favorite pastime (or is Facebook now America’s favorite pastime?). It doesn’t even get any percentage from subscription sales to users it directs to MLB. If the experiment takes off, however, that could all change, regardless of whether MLB wants it to change or not.
Read More at NBC Bay Area.
All Things Digital.