Competition in the live streaming department is heating up. Facebook announced that it had made a significant deal allowing it to live stream 22 Major League Soccer matches on its platform.
The live streaming deal was made possible through the collaboration with Univision Deportes and MLS. The social networking site gained the rights to stream MLS regular-season matches in English.
The company also has the right to enhance the streaming’s video content using interactive elements.
These interactive features would include commentators and interactive graphics. Fans can also see Q&A features and participate in polls. These features will allow viewers to engage with the reporters while the matches are taking place.
The games are the same as the games being shown on Univision networks, but they are in Spanish. On Facebook, the company gained exclusive rights to stream it in English.
The deal also includes MLS producing over 40 original analysis shows about Matchday Live and the shows can be accessed through the Facebook Page of Univision Deportes. The shows will include featured discussions around the league and previews of upcoming matches.
The first episodes of the Matchday Live were on MLS Opening Weekend. But they are followed by another event to be available this weekend at 4 PM.
You can access the live streaming of the games on the MLS Facebook page. They will start with Atlanta United introducing the Chicago Fire. It’ll be on March 18 at 4 PM ET.
Fans can access those streams through desktop or mobile using the Facebook Live platform. For mobile viewing, the social networking site will incorporate camera angles. The company may also include ad tests, such as including ad breaks during the streams.
Univision considered it as another way to reach out to its fans. It also encourages interest in the sport. The organization said that more than 18 million viewers have been watching soccer through its networks.
“We are committed to serving our passionate fans. We are working with all of our partners on making sure our games, and additional content, get to our fans anytime, anywhere, and on any device.” – Gary Stevenson, president and managing director of MLS Business Ventures
This deal is vital for Facebook as it’s been keen to bring live sports content to its network. It streamed several USA Basketball exhibition games on its Facebook Live platform and other soccer matches last year. To further keep the fans engaged, it introduced a Sports Hub.
In 2016, the WSJ reported that the social networking site would pay sports teams and athletes over $4 million just to use its Facebook Live video.
“Major League Soccer’s innovative approach to the fan experience has cultivated truly special in-stadium environments, where flag-waving and chant-singing fans come together to passionately support their clubs.” – Dan Reed, Facebook’s head of global sports partnerships
In addition, Dan stated that with this deal, fans could watch the game on Facebook even if they’re not at the stadium. But they could see the matches with a great view while they could interact and engage with the community of fans.