Perform banking on sport’s fans turning to Facebook
Fast-forward 12 years to the 2024 Olympics and check out the teenagers watching a live Facebook streaming of Home Nations footy manager David Beckham beaming as England win a penalty shoot-out against Germany.
The teenagers will have heard their parents bang on about the history between Germany and England, just as they will have heard them bang on about something else from yesteryear- watching sport on TV.
Well, this is how Perform, the UK digital provider, hopes the future will look.
Perform has just signed an interesting deal that will see it launch more than 50 sports channels on Facebook -banking on sports fans wanting to watch sport with their mates on the social network.
Sport experts can hardly contain themselves at the news.
Tim Crow, chief executive of Synergy, the sponsorship experts tweeted “Most important sportbiz story of the day-maybe the year.”
Others believe the floodgates will soon open to a wave of deals of a similar sport/social network ilk.
The Perform deal means that thousands of live sport matches and on-demand will be available to view through integration with Perform’s online sport content platform, LiveSport.TV.
This includes rugby league, South American football and world snooker.
Facebook’s 900 million users will be able to watch content through an application on the social network, while Livesport.TV will become integrated with Facebook’s API, meaning viewers can log on using their Facebook details.
The on-demand content will be available free and will be ad-funded using instream ads. Live sports matches will be available to subscribers only, at £2.99 a month.
The advantages for Perform would appear multiple while for Facebook the move will test user appetite for consuming live sports footage on the site.
Perform is not a pioneer, though, as others have tread this route in recent years but public appetite for consuming live sports content is uncertain.
Budweiser, the FA Cup sponsor, brokered a deal to stream the FA Cup match between non-league teams Ascot United and Wembley FC.
Facebook is now planning to increase the number of live FA Cup matches it streams during next year’s competition.
Around 30,000 people viewed the live stream between the two footballing minnows while 1,149 people turned up to watch the game live. More games are planned next season.
Google-owned Youtube has also has made a foray into this area.
In 2010, YouTube streamed live Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket games- provoking much media coverage.
Wth heavyhitters such as Google, Apple and Facebook exploring the area, it seems Performs is stole a march on its rivals with this deal.