Facebook joins Twitter in live streaming MLB games on Friday nights

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 18: Colorado Rockies Infield Pat Valaika (4) in the on deck circle during game 2 of a MLB doubleheader between the Minnesota Twins and Colorado Rockies on May 18, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN. The Twins defeated the Rockies 2-0.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Major League Baseball and Facebook have partnered on a weekly national telecast of 20 games on Facebook Live this season.

The schedule of Friday night games begins this week as the Cincinnati Reds host the Colorado Rockies at 7:10 p.m. ET on the official MLB Facebook page. Additional games will be announced at a later date.

The broadcast each week will be a feed from a participating team's local broadcast rightsholder. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday at the owners meetings that the games will be done without blackouts.

“It's really important to us in terms of experimenting with a new partner in this area,” Manfred said.

The other partner would be Twitter, which is also live streaming one out-of-market MLB game on Friday nights this season including this Friday's game between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees at the same time at 7:10 p.m. ET.

“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. By distributing a live game per week on Facebook, Major League Baseball can re-imagine this social experience on a national scale,” said Dan Reed, Facebook's Head of Global Sports Partnerships. “We're thrilled to work with MLB to enable baseball fans on Facebook to watch live games and connect with friends and fellow fans around the action, no matter where they live in the U.S., and are excited to help the league continue to reach new audiences on our platform.”

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