Major League Baseball games are coming to Twitter as a result of a renewed partnership. This Thursday, Twitter will live stream the Texas Rangers versus the Oakland Athletics at 3:35 PM ET. The game will be the first of the weekly day-game live streams of out-of-market MLB games in the weeks ahead, during the 2018 season.
The MLB will announce the games that will air on Twitter ahead of each month’s slate, usually via a tweet.
Twitter has worked with the MLB before. As the company was ramping up its live streaming efforts in 2016, it announced it would begin streaming weekly MLB games, along with those from other sports organizations like the NHL and NFL. It then aired weekly games from April through October 2017.
Now it will be a home to weekly games, available to U.S. users to stream for free from April through September 2018.
Fans can watch the games on live.twitter.com/MLB online and on connected devices, and they don’t need to login to a Twitter account in order to do so. However, the games will not be exclusive to Twitter. The company notes that each stream is a simulcast with a participating team’s local TV broadcast, and that Twitter will be offering advertising packages for the content to be made available to sponsors.
There is a rev share on those ad deals, but Twitter declined to comment on how the revenue is split.
Twitter is not the only online home to MLB games. Facebook recently scored an exclusive deal to live stream 25 afternoon games – which means they won’t be available elsewhere.
The MLB has been busy making its games available on newer streaming services, too. For example, YouTube TV announced last month a multi-year deal to be the presenting sponsor for the World Series, which includes plans to heavily market its service with in-stadium signage, TV ads, on-air callouts, and more. And ESPN+, the Disney-owned streaming service arriving this month, will air over 180 MLB games, with the option to view more by purchasing the MLB.TV out-of-market package.
In addition to the games, the MLB will again be making real-time highlights available via its @MLB Twitter account throughout the season, with Spanish highlights available from @LasMayores during 2018, says Twitter. And Twitter has partnered with the MLB on hashtag-triggered emoji for all 30 MLB teams.
The April schedule of games is available below: