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Batter up! Facebook will stream 20 MLB games this season

The social media giant joins Twitter in broadcasting baseball games to its users.

Starting pitcher Amir Garrett of the Cincinnati Reds delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday. The Reds game against the Colorado Rockies on Friday will be the first MLB game broadcast on Facebook.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Baseball is coming to your Facebook page.

The social media giant and Major League Baseball are partnering to stream 20 games this season -- one a week -- to all Facebook users in the US. The games, streamed as part of Facebook Live, will air on Friday nights. The first game will be the Colorado Rockies at the Cincinnati Reds at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday.

The stream will come as a feed from the local broadcaster who normally shows the games. They'll be available on the official MLB Facebook page.

"Baseball games are uniquely engaging community experiences, as the chatter and rituals in the stands are often as meaningful to fans as the action on the diamond," Dan Reed, Facebook's head of global sports partnerships, said in a statement. "By distributing a live game per week on Facebook, Major League Baseball can re-imagine this social experience on a national scale."

Facebook isn't the first company to stream MLB games. Twitter has started its second season broadcasting baseball games. The free Friday night games will be available globally on and at MLB's Twitter page. The streams are a simulcast of the home team's televised broadcast.

The move comes as Facebook tries to promote its Facebook Live feature. The company wants to make the social network a premier video destination. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said in the past that we're entering a "golden age of live video." But Facebook Live has also faced some fire over murders and other violent acts that are broadcast live to viewers. The company said earlier this month that it would hire 3,000 people over the next year to monitor reports about violent videos and other objectionable material.

Facebook's deal with MLB was rumored in February.

Earlier Thursday, ESL, the largest esports company in the world, said it will be partnering with Facebook to bring over 5,500 hours of live streaming content to the social media platform.

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