Facebook Livestreamed its First Professional Sports Game

Facebook and Twitter have been in a row over live sports for a while now. Facebook opened its Sports Stadium hub only for Twitter to win the rights to stream the NFL games. Twitter also already have the lead on Baseball through theirPeriscope service connections. Facebook hasn't given up on streaming sports though and started last week by streaming football, or as Americans know it, soccer.

When it came to Facebook streaming live games, I expected that they would make a big deal out of it. Links would be everywhere, some people would receive notifications and it would just be a mess of the live stream being pushed on everyone. Instead, the game was posted in two separate streams on one of the players' Facebook page. People could havechosen to share the game themselves, but a lot of people who were interested in the sport or in her team would have probably been following her anyway. Women's football doesn't have a TV deal in the USA so Facebook and Youtube would have been the only places to actually watch the game. Even if you compare this to the TV ratings of a separate hockey match, though, the football game still gained more viewers and football even as big in America. Overall the football game received around 554,000 unique viewers across the entirety of the game.

The way Facebook handled this so quietly, but within their new live streaming feature was probably what helped them get such a large viewership. With a lot of what Facebook do and share, you can feel kind of forced to participate. They push so hard that it can make you not want to bother as that's all Facebook is going on about. Livestreaming on a player's page can help limit the game focus to those who are actually interested in the sport, but they're still pushing it just hard enough that they still had more viewers than Youtube did with just over 76,000.

This stream was part of Facebook's push for media companies, celebrities, and sports professionals to stream more. This live stream was a great way to showcase it as the game was professionally shot and it wasn't difficult to watch and know what was going on.

Facebook can obviously handle streaming sports after all so maybe Twitter still is in for some competition.

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