Liga MX on Facebook Live will become a reality this Saturday
— Scott Soshnick (@soshnick) February 13, 2017
When Twitter announced their partnership deal with the NFL last year, I was disappointed.
I long believed that people would watch sports via Twitter. Sports and Twitter are the perfect match. The main reason for this is because that’s where sports media live. Breaking news, stories, commentary about sports happens on Twitter more than any other social media platform. So much happens on Twitter that I’ve even “watched” the Super Bowl without watching it on tv.
If you want people to talk about your sports content, Twitter is where it’s at. The potential for sports leagues to connect and grow through Twitter was huge. If your sport connects with sports media, who better to get the word out, right?
Although Twitter did sign partnerships with smaller leagues – the Mountain West conference, for example – it was their deal with the NFL that got people (media) buzzing.
For me, the point of watching something on social media is more an issue of access. The NFL is a commodity that is easily accessible. Broadcast tv, cable tv, foreign language tv – it’s readily available for NFL games.
No, what I wanted to see Twitter pursue was something I couldn’t get elsewhere.
Then along came Facebook Live.
Marketers and media sometimes scoff at Facebook and sports. They view it as for the older crowd, full of photos of food, kids and the ever-popular “why am I connected with this person from high school” crowd. It’s believed that the 18-34 year-old demographic group coveted by sports advertisers aren’t hanging out on Facebook.
But, given its status as the #1 social network in the world, Facebook will be a player (no sports pun intended) in sports live-streaming.
Univision’s Liga MX Deal
Today, the most popular soccer league in North America, sorry MLS, is bringing their game to Facebook thanks to Univision Deportes.
“We’re thrilled Univision is bringing Liga MX matches to Facebook,” said Dan Reed, Head of Global Sports Partnerships at Facebook. “The move enables Facebook’s passionate community of soccer fans to watch, share, talk about and react to one of the sport’s most exciting leagues – all in one location.”
Tonia O’Connor, COO and Content Distribution President of Univision Corporation said, “Our Facebook partnership is an exciting opportunity for these fans to experience this great soccer in the language of their choice.”
Financial details have not been disclosed at this time.
Broadcasting games in English and making them available to fans who, for various reasons, don’t have Univision as part of their cable package is a no-brainer. By broadcasting the games on Facebook Live in English, Univision will be bringing Liga MX to an ever-increasing bilingual fanbase in the United States.
Just a few short days ago, Liga MX was featured in the English publication, The Guardian. In that article, writer Richard Foster wrote, “…a concerted effort is required to make an impact outside the Americas.” Although the initial offering will only be available here in the United States, Univision’s partnership with Facebook is one way to show the excitement of the league to new fans.
— Nayib Morán (@nayibmoran) February 13, 2017
Traditionalists and long-time Liga MX fans may not be as enthusiastic about the news, but it is worth the risk. Univision will still air games in Spanish over the air and on their app.
Only 46 games – regular season and playoffs – will be broadcast on Facebook. These matches will involve teams Univision has broadcast rights to. It all starts this Saturday night when Club America travels to Chivas.
There are still details to be ironed out and questions to be answered. After all, announcers are an important part of Liga MX viewing…
— Tom Harrison (@tomh_36) February 13, 2017
As for Twitter, this news should make bring them pause. Depending on whom you ask, their partnership with the NFL was successful. More recently, they began their partnership with the PGA Tour. This agreement allows Twitter to broadcast 31 tournaments, with over 70 hours of coverage this season. It will be broadcast around the world.
Just like with the NFL, however, this isn’t a partnership that gets the average American sports fan excited. Golf tournaments can be seen on broadcast and cable tv, as well as your local sports bar on a non-football day. What’s the point?
By offering a sport that isn’t as readily available, Facebook is taking the path that could ultimately prove beneficial for all parties in sports.
Now, if only Cesar’s wish…and mine…would come true.
Fingers crossed that more #LigaMXeng clubs, and the league itself, produce English content. If not now, when?
— Cesar Hernandez (@cesarhfutbol) February 13, 2017