Facebook has started streaming live sports events from the BBC in what is the biggest partnership to date between the social network and an international broadcaster.
The application first launched yesterday as Facebook users were able to watch live coverage of the Wimbledon tennis championship, with six simultaneous streams of live matches to choose from. The app is currently in beta test mode, with plans for the BBC to run 24 simultaneous streams on Facebook during the Olympics.
The same geo-IP blocking solution already used to limit access to other services such as the iPlayer will also mean the users outside the UK will not be able to view BBC streams on Facebook.
It is hoped that users sharing information about the live broadcasts they are viewing with their friends will encourage lots of social interaction as they discuss and comment on the action that is unfolding live on their screens. The usual targeted advertising (not controlled by the BBC) will appear on the right of the app as it does with the rest of Facebook.
However, as discussed in a previous blog, there will be no Facebook adverts on any Olympic Pages or broadcasts, as per the restrictions put in place by the International Olympic Committee. The BBC are also not making any money from the arrangement with Facebook.
A Facebook spokesman said:
“We are really pleased that the BBC has chosen to bring its legendary sports coverage to Facebook. Watching major events such as Wimbledon and the Olympic Games is a naturally social activity. Now viewers within the UK have the ability to share their favourite moments with friends and to discuss the action live as it unfolds.”
Will you be watching any of these live events on Facebook over the next few weeks? What would enhance this experience enough for you to watch it online rather than on the television? Please feel free to make your voice heard by leaving a comment below.