Major League Baseball has given individual teams autonomy on refund decisions, and Facebook has launched an online ticketing plan…

MLB

Major League Baseball has informed teams that they will be able to decide their own policies for ticket refunds, with the start of the 2020 season having been pushed back due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The MLB season had been due to get underway on March 26 but no games have been played yet because of the pandemic. So far, MLB has not set a target date for the start of the season.

According to multiple reports, MLB is giving the league’s 30 teams the freedom to decide their own policies, with an announcement set to be made later today (Wednesday).

USA Today, citing an industry official with direct knowledge of the league’s plans, reported that MLB feels enough time has passed to allow teams to have autonomy on ticket refunds.

The official told USA Today that MLB is not planning on cancelling games outright given the uncertainty surrounding the situation. If the season had started as planned on March 26, teams would have played around 15 games by now.

Teams have been treating fixtures as postponements and not cancellations, and as a result no refund policies have been announced so far. USA Today added that MLB is not considering a league-wide refund policy as ticket models vary from team to team.

Last week, two disgruntled fans sued MLB after being denied refunds for postponed games. MLB, its 30 franchises, Ticketmaster, Live Nation, Last Minute Transactions and its ticket resale partner StubHub were all named in a class-action lawsuit, which was filed in a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Facebook tickets

Facebook is set to launch an online ticketing plan that allows pages to charge a ‘ticket’ price for Live video events.

The tool was announced as part of the social media giant’s new Messenger Rooms feature, which allows video chats to hold up to 50 people with no time limit.

Facebook said about the ticketing feature: “To support creators and small businesses, we plan to add the ability for Pages to charge for access to events with Live videos on Facebook – anything from online performances to classes to professional conferences.”

The firm also announced a new donate button feature, which can be added to live videos “wherever non-profit fundraisers are available.”

TicketPro

South African ticketing firm TicketPro has unveiled a new live streaming platform for musicians, comedians and other artists amid the COVID-19 shutdown of live events.

The Blue Label Telecoms Group-owned firm’s new platform called Covid-Zero will give proceeds from tickets sales to performing artists and community care packages, which include masks, hand sanitiser, food vouchers and information on staying safe. The first 5,000 care packages have already been donated.

Fans can also vote for the artists they want to see and post their stay-at-home concert outfits and messages on the website and social media platforms.

Ryan Murgatroyd and Friends will launch Covid-Zero with a performance on May 8.

Brandon Duffield, managing director of TicketPro, said: “Against the backdrop of a devastating pandemic, we are determined to provide entertainment for South Africans, while also giving a much-needed boost to our entertainers and to communities in need.

“From music to comedy acts, we’re inviting audiences to tell us what they want to see on their screens.”

Image: Rudi Riet