In the latest examples of live sports migrating to digital platforms, NBC announced it would stream Premier League games through its NBC Sports Gold platform and Facebook partnered with Fox Sports to stream UEFA Champions League games on Facebook Live in the US on Tuesday.
Here’s what’s important to note:
- This isn’t the first time the UEFA Champions League will be broadcast on digital platforms. BT Sports announced in January that the UEFA Champions League would broadcast on YouTube in the UK, and also be available to watch in virtual reality. BT Sports also distributed Champions League finals on YouTube last year, and its audience was up 5% year-on-year compared to 2015.
- Facebook continues a strong year of solidifying live sports streaming deals. In this year alone, Facebook has signed separate deals to stream Major League Soccer matches, MLB games, and World Surf League events. Facebook is looking to get into live sports as a way to siphon television ad spend.
- Other tech giants are aggressively pushing for sports content as well. Amazon paid $50 million in April to the NFL for the rights to stream the 10 Thursday night games, and recently announced its plans to charge $2.8 million for ad packages during its streamed NFL games. Twitter also recently announced a slew of upcoming live sports streams, including weekly regular-season WNBA games and a Twitter exclusive MLB program. Companies will likely continue to pour money into acquiring live sports streaming rights as consumers increasingly turn towards streaming platforms to view content.
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