Facebook shoots for goal in deal with MLS to live-stream soccer games

facebook live stream mls soccer
Lukich/123RF
Facebook is doubling down on its efforts to deliver more live sports events to users, announcing a new streaming deal for coverage of Major League Soccer (MLS) games.

Partnering with Univision, Facebook will offer soccer fans live-streams of at least 22 games this season, kicking off at 4 p.m. ET on March 18 with the clash between Atlanta United and Chicago Fire.

The live coverage — available on Univision’s Facebook page — will be tailored for mobile devices and will feature Facebook-specific commentators, interactive graphics, along with fan Q&A and polling features so viewers can engage directly with commentators throughout the games, MLS said in a release.

In addition, soccer fans can hit the MLS Facebook page for 40 “Matchday Live” shows made exclusively for Facebook. These will include not only MLS highlights and analysis from across the league, but also previews of the day’s matches.

Commenting on the deal, Facebook’s Dan Reed said the social networking giant was excited to offer an “innovative, community-first spirit to the Facebook Live broadcasts of league matches this season, [offering] fans … an entirely new way to experience a live soccer broadcast that is optimized for mobile screens and social viewing.”

Gary Stevenson of MLS said his team was working to ensure “our games, and additional content, get to our fans anytime, anywhere, and on any device.”

Univision, meanwhile, noted that the deal was a chance for it to build on its English-language audience of some 18 million soccer fans who’ve already watched games on its service.

This latest deal marks a deepening of ties between Facebook and Univision, with the pair inking an agreement just last month for the live-streaming of 46 games from Mexico’s top-tier soccer league, Liga MX.

Facebook has also hosted other sports live-streams on its service, including, for example, Team USA’s Olympic basketball exhibition games and Wayne Rooney’s 2016 testimonial fixture between Manchester United and Everton. And with the company continuing to invest heavily in live video, we can expect to see more such deals coming soon — including, perhaps, one with Major League Baseball (MLB).

The company’s drive to offer more live sports coverage mirrors similar efforts by Twitter, which has been inking various deals to bring sports content to its own users. In addition, both companies recently launched video apps for Apple TV and other platforms in a bid to keep users entertained, as well as boost video views and ultimately ramp up revenue.

Gaming

The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Gaming

What games were nominated for the The Game Awards 2018? Find out here

The Game Awards returns to Los Angeles for its fifth show this December. Here is everything we know about the event, including its location, where you can watch it, and games that were nominated.
Gaming

The best free-to-play games you can play right now

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.
Social Media

Snapchat’s PR firm is suing an influencer for failing to influence

Snapchat's PR firm is suing a social media influencer for his alleged failure to promote Spectacles on Instagram. Actor Luka Sabbat was paid $45,000 upfront, but the suit claims he fell well short of the terms of the deal.
Computing

Urban legends for the digital age: The best scary stories from the internet

In need of some simple scares this Halloween? We've combed the internet for the best creepypastas, urban legends, and scary stories. From found footage YouTube videos to a deceptively scary wiki, these stories are sure to spook.
Mobile

WhatsApp finally gives in to the lure of cash-generating ads

WhatsApp's co-founders always said their messaging app would never show ads, but once the pair quit the company, it seemed inevitable that its owner, Facebook, would find a way to incorporate them.
Mobile

Shazam hooks up with Instagram Stories for another way to share songs

The latest update for Apple-owned Shazam lets iPhone users share music tracks to Instagram Stories in a few quick taps. To enable the feature, just make sure you have the latest version of Shazam loaded on your handset.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.
Computing

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.