Univision, Facebook Partner on Soccer Streaming

Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications will begin streaming select live Mexican soccer matches from its Univision Deportes portfolio of Liga MX matches inEnglish via Facebook Live on Feb. 18.
According to Univision, fans will be able to live stream about 46 games – starting with the matchup between America and Chivas this Saturday – throughout the rest of the year in real-time on the Univision Deportes Facebook page and via Facebook’s Video tab.
“Univision’s unparalleled soccer productions and coverage have always garnered great engagement from not only Spanish-speaking viewers, but English-speaking fans as well. Our Facebook partnership is an exciting opportunity for these fans to experience this great soccer in the language of their choice,” said Univision chief commercial officer and president of content distribution Tonia O’Connor in a statement. “TV options have evolved from broadcast to cable to SVOD. Now Facebook represents the next wave of TV and, given its scale, they are an ideal partner to distribute our Liga MX matches in English.”
This is not the first time Univision has streamed content via Facebook Live. Last year’s presidential debates, network newscasts and reality show finales have all been streamed by the network on the platform, according to a Univision spokesperson.But it is the first time the network has streamed live soccer in English.
According to Nielesen , about 18.3 million English-speaking persons aged 2 and over (P2+) watched soccer on Univision Communicatons networks (Univision, Galavision, UniMasand Univision Deportes) between July adn December 2016.
“We’re thrilled Univision is bringing Liga MX matches to Facebook,” said Facebook head of global sports partnerships Dan Reed, in a statement. “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. We are also committed to supporting Univision Deportes as it explores innovative ways to complement its television broadcasts. By delivering unique broadcasts via Facebook Live, Univision Deportes is able to further reach new audiences in a truly interactive and social manner.”
Liga MX is the highest-rated club soccer league in the U.S. across all networks, and Univision holds the rights to 17 of the 18 teams in the league.
“We strive to connect our audience with their passions, and we know that Liga MX fans are always looking for more ways to experience their favorite league - whether they are at home or on the go,” Univision Deportes president Juan Carlos Rodriguez said in a statement. “Now Facebook will bring the passionate and loyal fans of the most-watched soccer league in the U.S. their favorite matches to its Facebook Live platform, where Univision Deportes can also be the first to engage a new, dedicated audience in today’s mobile and connected world.”