Providing more evidence that social media networks are becoming key distribution points for programmers, Major League Soccer and Univision Deportes said they will live-stream a full slate of regular season matches in English on Facebook.
They intend to live-stream at least 22 matches during the 2017 MLS regular season that are also being broadcast on Univision networks in Spanish via the Univision Deportes Facebook page.
Those matches, produced for consumption on mobile devices, will also feature commentators specific to the Facebook live feeds along with interactive graphics, fan Q&As, polls and a way for viewers to “engage directly” with the commentators during the matches.
The first match set to be streamed on Facebook is set for Sat., March 18 at 4 p.m. ET, when Atlanta United hosts the Chicago Fire.
Univision Deportes, the multimedia sports unit of Univision Communications, said the partnership will enable it and the MLS to “drive further social engagement with fans,” and provide an avenue for more unique digital content.
MLS is also on board to produce 40 exclusive “Matchday Live” shows on the social network on MLS game days.
The MLS streaming announcement follows a similiar one last month in which Univision and Facebook Live are teaming to live stream select Liga MX matches inEnglish.
“We are committed to serving our passionate fans,” said Gary Stevenson, president and managing director, MLS Business Ventures, in a statement. “We are working with all of our partners on making sure our games, and additional content, get to our fans anytime, anywhere, and on any device.”
“Further engaging the more than 18 million English-language viewers that have watched soccer on Univision coupled with the continued success of our MLS broadcasts, including our record-setting season opener, is a natural path in this new era of content consumption,” added Juan Carlos Rodriguez, President of Univision Deportes.