Facebook cuts deal with Univision to stream Mexican soccer
- Facebook and Univision Communications signed a deal to put 46 Liga MX soccer games from Mexico on Facebook Live with commentary in English, but only available in the U.S., as reported by Bloomberg.
- Soccer has been proven to be popular on Facebook with 3.7 million people watching a charity match between English Premier League teams, 71% of whom were under 35, according to Dan Reed, Facebook’s head global sports partnership. Reed told Bloomberg: “Sports on Facebook offers significant value to broadcasters and rights holders in areas of audience growth and innovation.”
- The Liga MX games will live stream on Univision’s Deportes Facebook page and on Facebook’s video tab without advertising because, according to Reed, Facebook is still experimenting with ad formats on the Facebook Live feature.
Live streaming sports on social media has become very popular. Just last season the NFL streamed 10 Thursday Night Football games on Twitter, and the micro-blogging platform has been a leader in partnering with pro sports leagues. In this case Facebook’s deal is with Univision, a media company, rather than the league itself, but it does bring valuable content to the platform.
Live sports is desirable to social media platforms as they build their live streaming offerings because it has long been seen as the domain of linear and cable TV and remains one of the few types of destination content best seen live.
As the cord cutting trend continues, some sports games are seeing their TV viewership decline. The recent Super Bowl game, one of the largest destination viewing events of the year, saw only a small decline in TV viewership, but it is a unique offering that attracts some viewers who do not typically watch games during the regular season.