The Social Media Bidding War for The World Cup Streaming Rights Has Begun

We Global Football
As the race to rule the sports streaming landscape has intensified, one event has loomed large - the World Cup. The quadrennial event has consistently been one of the most watched sporting events on the planet, with the 2014 cup in Brazil garnering a total viewership of 3.2 billion, almost half the population of the entire planet.

Viewership figures for the World Cup are particularly high in the US, which goes even further to explain why Facebook, Twitter and Snap are all already fighting over it. Fox Sports hold the broadcasting rights to the 2018 World Cup, which will take place in Russia. Fox themselves payed an estimated $400 million for those rights, so you can imagine the kind of numbers these three tech giants will be throwing around to stake their claim.

Of course, it might not even turn out that all the streaming and highlights are passed off to one of these platforms. Fox have no reason to do that beyond financial gain. It might end up making more sense to foster a kind of shared environment between all of them, either with each platform getting exclusive rights to different things, or all of them offering the same footage in different flavours.

Knowing Facebook, they'll probably fight the hardest for exclusivity, but in some ways they haven't proven to be as effective for sports broadcasting as Twitter or Snapchat, and while money is important, viewing figures are as well. Twitter are currently developing a 24 hour live streaming service, and it's innovations like that which could make all the difference, especially considering there's still about a year until the event itself.

For Snapchat's part, the ability to offer the best mobile coverage, as well as interactive highlights and special pre or post game content will be significant. Facebook, meanwhile, will probably be looking at how to incorporate things like VR and 360 video into the World Cup experience. Social media and sports have only really just started coming to terms, legally speaking, and the World Cup will likely end up being a proving ground for the ongoing development of live streaming.

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