Atlanta United’s next home match against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, March 18 will make MLS history. The league announced on Friday a new agreement with Univision to stream matches on Facebook and this particular match will be the first one to be featured.
While Univision is a network for Spanish speakers, streams on Facebook will be for English audiences and will feature separate broadcasters from the television broadcast. Streams will also showcase interactive graphics such as fan Q&A’s and polls.
“Major League Soccer’s innovative approach to the fan experience has cultivated truly special in-stadium environments, where flag-waving and chant-singing fans come together to passionately support their clubs,” said Dan Reed, Facebook head of global sports partnerships. “We’re very excited for MLS and Univision Deportes to bring this same innovative, community-first spirit to the Facebook Live broadcasts of league matches this season. Their approach will provide fans with an entirely new way to experience a live soccer broadcast that is optimized for mobile screens and social viewing. So even if they're not at the stadium, people can watch the game on Facebook with a great view of the action while interacting with a highly-engaged community of fans."
This is the the first such deal as many sports leagues are now utilizing social media and new streaming platforms for their matches. The NFL struck a deal with Twitter to show Thursday Night Football last season. CONCACAF has also shown youth tournaments through their Facebook page.
Matches on Facebook Live can be accessed through Univision Deportes’ Facebook page. The coverage will start with Atlanta United’s second ever home match.