July 4, 2018
Facebook plans to stream live boxing and related programming through a new deal with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. Content “will be available to fans in the U.S. on Facebook Watch and globally via the Golden Boy Promotions page on Facebook,” reports Variety. Broadcasts will leverage social features such as “real-time fan interaction and engagement.” However, the bouts will not feature ads. Facebook, which has been experimenting with streaming live MLB games, recently secured deals “with action-sports company Nitro Circus and Fox Sports for Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league.”
The live boxing “pact expands L.A.-based Golden Boy’s distribution outlets, which include deals with ESPN, ESPN Deportes, HBO, Estrella TV, and RingTV.com,” notes Variety. “The company also distributes content on owned-and-operated sites CaneloGGG.com and GoldenBoyPPV.com.”
The first fight is slated for August 11 when JoJo Diaz challenges WBA featherweight champ Jesus Rojas at the Hollywood Avalon. One week later, Sullivan Barrera will take on a yet-to-be announced light heavyweight contender at the Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania.
As social platforms evolve, experimentation (and big spending) involving the live-streaming of sports is gaining momentum. Twitter paid $10 million to simulcast NFL Thursday Night Football games in 2016. Amazon has since picked up the rights so that Prime members and Twitch users can stream NFL games. Amazon also picked up the rights to stream 20 English Premier League soccer games next year, while YouTube TV recently picked up “exclusive rights to broadcast games for Los Angeles’ new Major League Soccer team,” explains Forbes.