Sports, currently, is dominated by Disney’s ESPN, whose trademark saying is: “The Worldwide Leader in Sports.” Unlike many trademark sayings, ESPN’s is true.
The network has multi-year broadcast deals with all the major sports leagues, which means other aspiring sports networks get stuck with amateur chess championships instead of the college football playoffs.
To be clear, FB isn’t getting into sports broadcasting just yet. But it is doubling down on the conversations surrounding sports, which has become an integral part of how we consume sports in this day and age. It’s also something ESPN can’t do, and it could woo some major ad dollars Facebook’s way if it proves popular.
Dubbed “Facebook Sports Stadium”, the new feature will have its own real estate on Facebook’s mobile app. It will consist of four separate tabs: One devoted to live sports commentary from your friends, another populated with commentary from experts like commentators and players, the third will have play-by-play game details, and the fourth will include live game stats.
Two of those FB tabs will compete head-on with espn.com, which already provides play-by-play details and live game stats. And the other two — the social aspects — will surely foster high amounts of user engagement, which advertisers love.
It’s another move FB is making to combat its biggest competitor, Twitter. Sports events are one of the few things Twitter does better than Facebook currently. Users can and do take to Twitter during big games to talk trash, vent, rant and see what others are talking about. Now it’s Facebook’s turn.
For now, the new feature will serve as a complement to traditional sports broadcasters like ESPN. FB will prominently display where users can view the game on TV. But I wouldn’t put it past Facebook to look into broadcast deals in the future, especially if the feature ends up being a huge success, keeping users on the site for longer and attracting more advertisers.
Credit to Investor Place who originally published this article.