The second installment of Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, much like the first, is being streamed on Facebook Live via the Fox Sports Champions League Facebook Page. Is the fact that this marquee matchup is not being shown on television a glimpse into the future? An annoyance? Or maybe a bit of both?
Fox Sports is in the midst of live-streaming two live matches per match day in the group stage of the Champions League, four round of 16 matches and four quarterfinal matches. Some matches are exclusive to Facebook and Fox Soccer Match Pass (and even sub-licensed to ESPN), while others are simulcast on TV.
Here’s my question to you - Is Facebook Live a good option for the broadcast of the Champions League and its expanding list of soccer matches?
Proponents of Facebook Live argue that these matches would not be available otherwise. However, that may not be entirely true as Fox has the rights and has partnered with Facebook to stream these matches. Fox made the choice to partner with Facebook.
In many instances in soccer, including the group stages of the Champions League, the matches often run simultaneously. Fox only has so many television channels so therefore all of the matches can’t be shown on television, or people do not subscribe to Fox Soccer Match Pass, and Facebook Live makes these matches available. That is definitely a positive.
Having soccer streamed on a social media platform rather than a news outlet or a video sharing website such as YouTube brings it’s own questions. Not everybody has a Facebook account, or wants one. In fact there are some segments of society in the United States where having a social media presence may be frowned upon (financial and legal industries) or dangerous (law enforcement).
On the other hand these matches are free and the coverage is much appreciated by many including the approximately 45,000 live viewers at its peak for the previous Bayern / PSG match.
This article only touches the tip of the iceberg regarding Facebook Live and match streaming. I for one will be watching the Bayern/PSG match on Facebook Live even though I’m not convinced that this is the best avenue.
Please let us know how you feel in the comments.