Facebook’s live sports offer is taking a giant step-over.
Facebook will livestream more than a dozen matches from the Champions League, European soccer’s top tournament, as part of a new deal with Fox Sports.
The deal includes showing double-headers during the group stage, four round-of-16 games and four quarterfinal games. Financial terms are not disclosed. Facebook did not immediately return a request for comment.
“Facebook is a social media powerhouse and a great partner to help us grow soccer in the United States, said David Nathanson, Head of Business Operations, FOX Sports. As people spend more and more time on mobile devices and social networks, offering matches on this platform is a natural extension.”
Soccer is by far the most followed sport on Facebook, which has access to nearly 2 billion monthly active users, and the deal was a long time coming for the platform.
A staggering 34 million people had 98 million interactions on Facebook related to this year’s Champions League final in which Real Madrid beat Juventus.
Some matches will be exclusive to Facebook and FOX Sports GO, while others will be simulcast on television, the press release said.
The UEFA Champions League is one of the biggest football tournaments in the world, so we’re thrilled to partner with FOX Sports to deliver live matches to fans on Facebook in the U.S. next season, said Dan Reed, Head of Global Sports Partnerships, Facebook.
This collaboration unlocks new distribution for FOX, giving the network a national platform for matches that won’t always be televised. And with different matches broadcast in English and Spanish on Facebook, our community of fans will have plenty of action to cheer on and chat about once the group stage kicks off in September.
Just one month later, the social networking giant announced it will livestream regular season matches of American soccer through a partnership with Major League Soccer and Univision Deportes.
The latest development could be bad news for Twitter, which has bet its future on live-streaming professional content, as well as Amazon and other streaming platforms.
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