SBD/February 29, 2012/Media

Facebook To Stream ESPN's Coverage Of Live College Basketball Games

Facebook will carry live ESPN coverage of 225 conference tournament games

Facebook "will carry live ESPN TV coverage of 225 college men's and women's basketball games from conference tournaments," according to Michael Hiestand of USA TODAY. The idea is to give ESPN3, which annually streams 4,000 sports events, "another outlet for games it carries." ESPN3 VP Damon Phillips indicated that these will be the "first live sports, outside of some martial arts action, available via Facebook." Phillips said, "We see this as a big opportunity. You fish where the fish are." But Hiestand notes, "Not everybody will be able to go to Facebook and reel in ESPN's games." ESPN3's content, including the games on Facebook, is "free to about 73 million subscribers who get their cable TV or broadband service from carriers who distribute ESPN3." Phillips said that anybody trying to log in to or to its games via Facebook "will either be recognized or will need to provide simple self-authentication." The upcoming games will also be "accessible on Facebook via colleges' individual pages" (USA TODAY, 2/29).

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