Facebook Live offering the NBA and high school football this week

By Jim O'Neill on Oct 11 2016 at 1:00 PM
Facebook Live offering the NBA and high school football this week

The NFL’s experiment with Twitter and Thursday Night Football is in high gear and getting pretty solid reviews, so it should come as no surprise that the other social media site, Facebook, isn’t planning to sit on the sidelines as live sports becomes a significant part of social media strategy.

Wednesday night, the Orlando Magic will join the party as their preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs will stream on Facebook Live (outside of the 75-mile blackout radius of the Amway Center in Orlando).

The Magic’s play-by-play stream with come from the team’s regular radio broadcaster Dennis Neumann with commentary from Richie Adubato. It’s not the first NBA hook up with Facebook Live, the Atlanta Hawks streamed their Oct. 1 practice session and grabbed more than 1 million views.

The NBA also is planning to stream live content to Twitter with the start of the regular season, a weekly pregame show that’ll launch with the regular season.

Bleacher Report goes house with HS football

Meanwhile, Times Warner property Bleacher Report is going even further downstream… all that way to high school football.

BR plans to stream at least three high school games over Facebook Live, expecting them to potentially reach that ever-more-elusive 18-25-year-old male audience.

The stream will include some unique camera angles and pricey high tech – especially for a high school football game – as BR will use drones, GoPro cameras, data sensors on the athletes and live polls scattered throughout the stream as well as additional “Millennial-friendly content.”

BR and FB Live will kick off their Millennials-troll Friday night at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock where even Coach Kevin Kelley – known for virtually never choosing to punt the ball, almost always going for two-point conversions and regularly trying onside kicks – will be mic’d up as he makes punt/no punt calls.

After this week’s game, BR will use FB live at two additional games, one at Antioch (California) High School and at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Facebook may be a perfect fit for high school football, but don’t expect it to stop there. The social media giant claims massive video viewership, with users watching 100 million hours of video, some three-quarters of it on mobile devices.

That mobile connection, along with a commitment to Millennial-friendly content could be the ticket to bigger games for both Facebook Live and Bleacher Report.

NFL throws flag on social media during games

The NFL may be fine with Twitter as a paying partner for its Thursday broadcasts, but it’s holding the line against its own teams streaming any live game action or distributing GIFs – on or off the field – to social media sites from kickoff to an hour after the game is wrapped.

ESPN reports that the league is handing down the ban effective Wednesday.

First-time offenders will be fined $25,000, escalating to $50,000 and $100,000. Mashable, meanwhile, reports that the third strike also includes losing access to league-controlled content post game… including highlight packages.


Stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn


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