Published: Sat, March 11, 2017
Business | By Sandy Mccarthy

Univision announces deal to broadcast matches in English

Univision announces deal to broadcast matches in English

Facebook is kicking at least 22 live Major League Soccer matches this season across its video platforms, under a pact with the league and Univision Communications' Univision Deportes, which owns USA broadcast rights to the games.

At least 22 MLS regular season matches set to be broadcast on Univision will also be live streamed on Facebook in English via the Univision Deportes Facebook page, starting with a game between Atlanta United and the Chicago Fire on March 18. The live streams will be accompanied by a Facebook-specific commentary, interactive graphics, and fan polls.

As part of the deal, MLS will produce live matchday studio content before games, an expansion of their Matchday Live programming which debuted on opening weekend. "Matchday Live" analysis shows will appear on Major League Soccer's page.

Facebook just scored something big in live. Through a partnership with Univision, Facebook is streaming 46 games from Mexico's top soccer league Liga MX to the network's U.S. users. The terms of agreement haven't been disclosed yet.

As our Facebook feeds become saturated with video, the company is expanding its reach with more live sports.

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This partnership is only "natural", according to the president of the network.

The new deal with MLS and Univision expands Facebook's growing slate of live sports amid the social network's more aggressive approach to securing original video content rights for its platform, including a possible deal with Major League Baseball.

Dan Reed, head of Facebook's global sports partnerships initiative, says that the social platform wants to try and capture the energy of the stadium fan experience online.

The new livestreaming deal comes after MLS and Facebook worked together on projects during the 2016 season including MLS Commissioner Don Garber hosting a Facebook Live Q&A and creating content around MLS events including the MLS All-Star Game, Decision Day, and MLS Cup.

Get The Latest Soccer Tech News In Your Inbox! The company has also had discussions in the past with the National Football League in the US about streaming, but was unable to reach a deal. Digital rights to the National Football League Thursday night games are still up for grabs.

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