Following Twitter’s aggressive entry into live sports streaming, Facebook has also been working hard to increase its live sports offering. The latest deal with Univision will bring over 22 Major League Soccer (MLS) games live on Facebook.
Ever since Facebook launched its live sports updates nearly two years ago, it has been determined to become more friendly to sports fans. If the company wants to up its live video game, it needs to draw in sports fans with live content. And to do so, Facebook is going to the source. Broadcasters or the leagues or associations who can license content.
In its latest deal with Univision, Facebook is going to be live-streaming 22 Major League Soccer games, the first of which will take place on March 18 at 4 p.m. ET. between Atlanta United and Chicago Fire. The livestream on Univision’s Facebook Page will be customised for Facebook and especially on mobile devices. Each live-stream will include Q&As and polling that will increase interaction between fans and commentators.
But that’s not all. The MLS Facebook Page will features 40 “Matchday Live” shows with highlights, previews, and analyses of the games. Facebook will provide “an entirely new way to experience a live soccer broadcast that is optimized for mobile screens and social viewing.” Gary Stevenson at MLS, commented that this will ensure “games, and additional content, get to [their] fans anytime, anywhere, and on any device.”
This deal with Univision isn’t new. The two companies also agreed recently to live-stream 46 games from Liga MX – Mexico’s top level soccer league. Meanwhile, Facebook has also live-streamed several other sports events. Team USA’s Olympic basketball exhibition games for example. It’s only a matter of time before we see more NBA games, or the first NFL or NHL games live on the social network.