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Social media platforms streaming live sports, on the rise

NFL has announced that it will produce a live 30-minute weekday show for Twitter during the 2017-2018 season. Advertising spots will be offered for the content via Twitter’s Amplify programme. Plans also include giving access to viewers to live pre-game access from primetime games. The deal pops in immediately after the upcoming season’s streaming rights for Thursday Night Football went to Amazon. In the previous season, Twitter had the streaming rights for the games. Compelling live studio programs that talk about what’s happening in the NFL, exclusive behind the scenes live broadcasts before the games and the most appealing NFL highlights alongside the real-time NFL conversation will be streamed via Twitter.

The trend of social media entering the sports live streaming space isn’t restricted to football. Infact Showtime Sports in collaboration with Facebook Live started streaming boxing (undercard bouts) for free.

Linacre Media launched FightNight Live on Facebook that consists of streaming complete multi-fight line-ups wherein fans can interact with announcers. According to Mark Fratto, principal and director of business development for Linacre, they hope to fill the gap that exists for coverage of boxing and MMA by making this service available to rights holders which will benefit fans. Traditional TV and traditional boxing haven’t covered such events so far. Digital customers and cord-cutters try and catch up on spectator’s live feeds from their cell phones. Major League Soccer and Univision Deportes partnered with Facebook in a deal for streaming almost two-dozen soccer matches on the site this season.

A Morning Consult survey revealed in a study of the effectiveness of social digital strategies to grow viewership that 47% of adults would be more inclined to watch NFL games via social media streaming. 60% of men and 58% of people between the age group of 18-29 were more probable to watch an NFL game on a social media platform. 37% would more likely watch a Major League Baseball game or a college football match on social media. 32% would lean towards watching a NBA game and about 26% would be interested in watching National Hockey League on social media. For only 24%, the likelihood of watching a match on Facebook live streaming of MLS games would be higher and 59% thought that social media streaming had no impact on their viewing habits either way. Out of those surveyed, 19% have watched live sports on Twitter last year with a majority of them being millennials. The Company sees great potential in social media (even though this strategy is still in its nascent stage) as a means of broadcasting sports considering the rate at which people are seeking alternative viewing options for all shows they watch as well as the roadblocks in terms of ratings that NFL faced this past year due to factors like competing prime-time events and viewers losing interest because of too many commercial breaks during the games.  Read More

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