Major League Baseball is broadcasting one spring training game per day live on its Facebook fan page.
The games will continue through the end of spring training in April, and perhaps into the regular season.
Right now, it’s only a promotion for MLB’s subscription video service, but it points the way toward Facebook becoming a content distribution platform.
A couple weeks ago, Facebook spooked Netflix investors when it announced an experiment with Warner Brothers to let customers rent “The Dark Knight” with Facebook credits. The panic was silly — video on demand is already common through cable networks, and Netflix has a huge library of content and subscription service that won’t be easily disrupted.
But live sports actually makes more sense than movie rentals — users are more likely to share a live event with a real-time status update like “check this amazing game out” than they are to point to a movie that’s been out for a couple years on video.
MLB says that it’s only trying to figure out who might be interested in watching and sharing games online so it can promote MLB.TV more effectively. And this time around, Facebook has no financial incentive — the games are free.
But as Peter Kafka at AllThingsD points out, today’s experiment is tomorrow’s distribution platform.
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