Facebook Live to show La Liga fixture globally
La Liga will become the first European football league to globally broadcast a match on Facebook Live after agreeing terms with the social media platform’s official live streaming partner Grabyo.
The live stream will show the Spanish Women’s first Division fixture between top of the league Atletico Madrid and third placed Athletic on Saturday 28 May.
Grabyo, the London-based startup backed by Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Tony Parker, will broadcast the game to Facebook in TV quality globally with no geoblocking.
Prior to being announced as an official live streaming partner of Facebook, Grabyo built its reputation in live sports broadcasting by working with Fox Sports, the FA, the RFU and Chelsea to help them broadcast to Facebook Live.
The live streaming company began working with La Liga last year, helping the league distribute short-form video clips to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram simultaneously.
Gareth Capon, chief executive of Grabyo, said La Liga broadcasting a competitive fixture to Facebook is “a great example of major sports rights holder using the reach, engagement and viral distribution on social media platforms to distribute their content”.
“The global shift towards fans consuming content on their mobile devices is driven by social platforms with video driving greatest engagement for fans around the world. Consumers have smartphones within arms reach 24 hours a day, no other platform offers this opportunity for reach and viewing across all demographic groups.
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The news marks a continuing trend in the evolution of sports broadcasting which has saw sports broadcasters, and social media platforms themselves, offer up live events away from traditional TV coverage.
BT Sport recently turned to YouTube to help increase the viewing figures for its exclusive top flight European football coverage when it announced that the Europa League and Champions League finals would be shown live on YouTube for free.
Facebook Live has opened up new opportunities for broadcasters to tap into the huge number of users on the platform which the likes of Sky and BBC have used to their advantage.
Twitter has also moved in on the popularity of sports having acquired the rights to Thursday night NFL football.