For the first time in history, a major sports league has agreed to show a significant number of live games exclusively on Facebook.
For a 25-game exclusive broadcasting rights package, Facebook will pay Major League Baseball $30 to $35 million, or about $1.2 to 1.4M per game, according to Bloomberg. With the social media site’s mass reach and promotional competence in driving eyeballs to video, this deal is about to usher in a new era.
Once Facebook’s ecosystem ingests the idea of live sports, the offering of associated goods and services will begin. And sports betting on live games is one service that is sure to follow in an arena where Facebook will likely have plenty of skin in the game.
Not only for single-game wagers but in-game wagering, which has become increasingly popular. Facebook has the tech-savvy to maximize in-game offerings, and given its 1.4 billion daily active users, to do so at high volume and potentially better odds.
In 2017 MLB betting handle represented almost 25% of the overall market in Nevada alone ($1.14B of the total $4.8B). Within a legal, regulated market in potentially numerous other states that are grinding out or have passed sports betting legislation, the overall nationwide handle on MLB games could balloon.
Combined with the growth of in-game wagering, one can see why Facebook is considering sports betting a part of their long-lead business strategy.