CrossFit and Facebook Sign Deal to Broadcast Live Events

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.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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