Belfast Telegraph

Facebook enters world of sports broadcasting with a real bang

By Matt Slater

An England-Greece table tennis match attracted more than 2million views on Facebook last week when broadcast by SPORTbible, despite going up against Manchester City v Barcelona in the Champions League.

The men's European qualifier on November 1 has now attracted almost 2.3million views, which are defined as unique users watching for 10 seconds or more, with a peak of 21,000 viewers.

The four-hour broadcast - which featured four cameras, commentary and post-game interviews - was shared more than 1,500 times, with 29,000 comments posted during England's 3-2 comeback win.

Adam Clyne, the chief operating officer of SPORTbible's parent company LADbible, said "the success of the experiment came as no surprise" to the youth-oriented, online publishing group.

"We are living in an age of disruption for many industries and sports broadcasting is no different," Clyne said. "We have almost nine million Facebook followers and they are hungry for content.

"Facebook Live is a great platform for this and, if we can act as a conduit for a sport that doesn't get many eyeballs, it's a win-win."

Mark Taffler, head of commercial at the national governing body, believes the broadcast could open a whole new market.

He said: "There is an appetite to watch our sport and, through a platform like SPORTbible, we are finding them."

Belfast Telegraph

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