Facebook agrees live streaming deal with MLS
The first match to be streamed as part of the agreement will occur on 18 March
The agreement builds on an earlier partnership between Facebook and American-Spanish broadcaster, Univision, which saw the social media company acquire the broadcast rights to Mexico’s top football division Liga MX.
The new deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) and Univision gives Facebook exclusive, English-language rights to stream at least 22 regular-season fixtures from the US league.
As part of the deal MLS will produce more than 40 ‘Matchday Live’ analysis shows exclusively for Facebook which will stream on MLS’ Facebook page.
The games meanwhile will appear on Univision Deportes’ Facebook page with the first streaming game scheduled for 18 March.
Facebook’s eagerness to grow its live sports streaming deals are no doubt fuelled by the fact that video now accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic. According to Reuters, the social media giant is also in talks with Major League Baseball (MLB) for live streaming rights and has worked with La Liga in Spain to broadcast games from the women’s and men’s leagues.
With the much larger audience than Twitter, Facebook could prove to be a more desired destination for sports leagues and broadcasters to try and monetise live sports as consumers cut ties with satellite and cable providers such as Sky.