Facebook has made a deal with Fox Sports to stream UEFA Champions League soccer matches via Facebook Live during upcoming 2017-18 season. The annual competition featuring Europe’s top club teams kicks off group stage play in September and comes after Spain’s Real Madrid won this year’s title June 3 in Wales. Fox broadcast the final live.
Under the terms of the deal, Fox Sports will stream games in the U.S. on the Fox Sports Facebook page, and in Spanish on the Fox Deportes Facebook Page. It will offer two live matches per match day in the group stage, four Round of 16 matches and all four quarterfinal matches.
The news comes as social media and streaming platforms have jostled for position for sports programming, always a major topic among users of sites like Facebook and Twitter. Recently, Amazon committed $50 million to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games this fall, and is charging advertisers $2.8 million for packages with 30-second spots, according to reports. Twitter streamed TNF games live last season.
“Facebook is a social media powerhouse and a great partner to help us grow soccer in the United States,” said Fox Sports head of Business Operations David Nathanson in announcing the deal. “As people spend more and more time on mobile devices and social networks, offering matches on this platform is a natural extension. This year’s UEFA Champions League final saw 34 million people have 98 million interactions on Facebook, so we are thrilled to be able to offer top-notch content to their immense soccer community.”