Earlier this week, Facebook signed an unprecedented agreement with CrossFit to broadcast the CrossFit Regionals live on the CrossFit Games’ Facebook page. You can now watch the 2017 CrossFit Regionals on Facebook, YouTube, or the CrossFit Games website.
According to Sports Business Daily, Facebook paid CrossFit an undisclosed fee to be able to provide the service, and the deal will see Facebook broadcasting up to forty live shows throughout the year, including all of the CrossFit Regional events and at least some of the Reebok CrossFit Games themselves.
The deal will also see Facebook hosting shoulder programming that includes shows called “Coaches’ Corner,” “Frenemy Friday,” and behind-the-scenes footage.
“We’re splitting our audience to a certain extent, but we also feel like we’re getting new lift and new engagement by having it on multiple platforms,” said Justin Bergh, General Manager of the CrossFit Games, to Sports Business Daily. “We’re always looking for better ways to serve our community. This gave us new tools that allowed us to talk and listen in a way that was going to make the experience for our fans different than anything they’ve had before.”
This is yet another example of a major web brand signing a deal to broadcast sporting events and — in the case of the CrossFit Games, anyway — take a little bit of market share away from traditional television broadcasters. Earlier this year, Amazon beat out Twitter for the rights to stream NFL’s Thursday night football games as well.
“Few things bring people together like live sports events, so we look forward to fans on Facebook rallying around CrossFit’s biggest moments,” said Dan Reed, Facebook’s head of global sports partnerships, in a statement.
With Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and other sites vying for the rights to broadcast sports and move people away from their TV sets, we’re expecting some significant changes to how people consume sports — and how TV companies like ESPN function — in the years to come.
Featured image via @matthewras on Instagram.