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MLB announces new deal for coverage in China, social media broadcasts

Aug 11, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; A general view of the MLB logo with Colorado Rockies batting gear on it during the game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Colorado Rockies won 12-9. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman, USA Today Sports

Major League Baseball has long been in the business of making its product more international and increasing its presence on social media. On Tuesday, MLB struck new deals, expanding both.

It was reported that MLB has reached a new coverage deal in China, the most populated country in the world.

“MLB has signed a multiyear deal with Tencent to live stream games and highlight footage in China, providing a new foothold for the league in the world’s most populous country,” Eric Fisher of Sports Business Daily reported. “The new deal, designating Tencent the official digital broadcasting partner of MLB, calls for the company to live stream 125 games this season, including all jewel events, and have exclusive rights for PC, mobile and OTT platforms.”

That’s certainly a lot of coverage for the people in China.

Giving 125 games — including Opening Day, the All-Star Game, the playoffs, and the World Series — to the people of the world’s most populated country in the world is a good way to go about making the product more visible internationally.

Fisher also noted that “MLBAM and Twitter will bring back weekly live games on the social media platform beginning Thursday, with a new focus on weekday afternoon time slots.”

Certainly, broadcasting games via social media is a strong way to embrace the cord cutting generation. But even for those who haven’t cut the cords, this is appealing.

Outside of Opening Week, midweek day games are played almost exclusively on Wednesday and Thursday. Broadcasting them via social media will make it easier for anyone not at home to follow the games.