Facebook Scores: MLS will stream games on Social Media Platform
As the world’s competition in the streaming market continues to heat up, Facebook announced Friday that a new partnership with Major League Soccer will allow them to stream 22 games on the social network this season.
Through a collaboration with both MLS and Univision Deportes, Facebook gained the rights to stream the 2017 MLS regular-season matches in English, as well as enhance the video content with various interactive elements.
The streams will include Facebook’s own commentators and custom interactive graphics during broadcasts, as well as fan Q&A and polling features that let Facebook viewers engage with the commentators as the matches take place. These are the same games that are already being broadcast on Univision in Spanish, Facebook has acquired exclusive rights to the English streams.
As a part of the deal, MLS will also produce more than 40 original “Matchday Live” analysis shows that will be posted to the MLS Facebook page. These shows will include feature highlights and discussions from around the league, as well as previews of the upcoming matches.
The live streams of the games themselves will be on the Univision Deportes Facebook page, and will kick off with Atlanta United hosting the Chicago Fire on March 18.
The games will be available both on your desktop and mobile devices. They’ll include unique camera angles optimized for mobile viewing, and may include ad tests, like putting ad breaks in the middle of streams, according to The Wall Street Journal.
According to Univision statistics, more than 18 million English-language viewers have tuned in to network broadcasts to watch games. The company sees this deal as being another way to reach those fans, and growing interest in the sport.
“We are committed to serving our passionate fans,” said Gary Stevenson, president and managing director, MLS Business Ventures, in a statement. “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.”