You won’t find Wednesday afternoon’s Braves-Blue Jays game on Fox Sports South or Fox Sports Southeast or any other TV network.
The game will be exclusively shown on Facebook Watch, the social media giant’s platform for shows, as part of MLB’s deal to live-stream one game per week this season – generally Wednesday afternoon games – to a global online audience.
MLB and Facebook declined to disclose financial terms when the deal was announced in March, but Bloomberg News reported Facebook will pay MLB between $30 million and $35 million for the 25-game package. (Weekday afternoon broadcasts are less valuable than night or weekend games.) The deal was unanimously approved by the 30 MLB clubs, and it marks the first time a major U.S. pro sports league has agreed to show any regular-season games exclusively on Facebook.
» Click here: Watch Braves-Blue Jays Live
When the deal was announced, MLB’s deputy commissioner of business and media, Tony Petitti, said the agreement “reflects the ongoing commitment of Major League Baseball and our clubs to connect with people around the world.”
“It is a major creative step forward in serving our diverse, passionate community of fans, who will enjoy a uniquely interactive experience watching our games on Facebook each week,” Petitti said.
It’s also seen as another indication of things to come in terms of big technology companies -- such as Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, YouTube, Verizon, etc. -- increasingly investing in live sports content.
Wednesday’s 12:37 p.m. game in Toronto will be the Braves’ first appearance on the Facebook Watch package this season.
» More: Braves fans unhappy with Facebook game
A Braves-Phillies game was shown on Facebook in July 2017 as part of a different deal, but that game – unlike this one -- wasn’t exclusive to Facebook. It was a simulcast of a Friday night broadcast also shown on TV.
Wednesday’s game, available on Facebook via the MLB Live show page or the Atlanta Braves page, will be different in some ways from what you’re accustomed to seeing on TV. According to the Braves, camera angles will be tighter to accommodate viewing on mobile screens, and Facebook and Instagram posts will be integrated into the broadcast.
The announcers will be MLB Network’s Scott Braun (play-by-play), former Braves player Mark DeRosa (analyst), former Blue Jays player J.P. Arencibia (analyst) and Alexa Datt (reporter).
Although not on TV, the game will be carried as usual on the Braves’ radio network.
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TODAY’S LEADOFF LINKS
> The Boston Globe conducted an NBA mock draft with beat writers, including the AJC’s Michael Cunningham, making first-round picks for the teams they cover. See how it turned out here.
> It’s time for the Hawks to move on from Dennis Schroder, Jeff Schultz writes.
> The Nationals acquired Kelvin Herrera from the Royals. The Braves could’ve used him, Mark Bradley writes.
> Johan Camargo’s grand slam propelled the Braves toward an 11-4 win over Toronto on Tuesday night. See David O’Brien’s report here.