Last month Univision announced they would be streaming more than 40 Liga MX matches live on Facebook in a move to grow the audience and increase viewer engagement. Also, the fact that there will be Facebook-specific commentators and other unique qualities (graphics, polls, etc) should take this above and beyond just another streamed simulcast but a totally unique viewing experience.
In one of the latest signs of that focus, the social network has signed a deal with the Major League Soccer association and broadcaster Univision that gives Facebook the exclusive English-language rights to stream 22 regular-season games in the US, to begin later this month. The partnership appears to be twofold: Facebook gets exclusive rights to popular soccer matches while MLS and Univision get to use the social media platform to interact with younger fans in new ways.
As part of the deal, MLS will produce live matchday studio content before games, an expansion of their Matchday Live programming which debuted on opening weekend. These shows will feature highlights and analysts from around the League and a preview of the day's upcoming matches.
This partnership is only "natural", according to the president of the network.
The announcement comes a little over a year after Facebooklaunched Sports Stadium, a service built into its core app that provides scores, stats and play-by-play info about live games.
"As the undisputed home of soccer in the US, Univision Deportes, together with MLS and Facebook, is committed to growing the sport across platforms and regardless of language".
What this mean for everyone else: easily consumable soccer if you so wish to watch. The NFL struck a deal with Twitter to show Thursday Night Football last season. The league also has its own streaming option, MLS Live, that's priced at $80/year or $15/month.
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