SBD/May 18, 2017/Media

Facebook Shifts Content Strategy Toward Paying Esports Teams To Post Videos

Facebook is "paying professional videogame teams and others in the esports industry to post videos on the social network" as part of a "shift in strategy to deliver more-polished programming to the company’s nearly two billion monthly users," according to Needleman & Seetharaman of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The social media company today announced a "deal with ESL, a global organizer of esports contests, to broadcast matches, player interviews and more." That comes after Facebook earlier this year "signed contracts with five teams to publish live and on-demand video of players practicing or competing at esports." As part of these agreements, esports partners must "produce a minimum number of hours of video for the social network, and in most cases the partners are allowed to simultaneously publish to rival platforms" such as Twitch. Facebook also is "investing in more gaming and traditional sports content." Esports "marries both, and fits Facebook’s strategy to focus on lower-profile sports that still have dedicated followings." Esports franchise Team Dignitas, which is owned by the 76ers, "joined Facebook’s paid content program last month after an exclusive contract it had with Twitch ended." Fellow esports franchise Echo Fox also recently "signed a deal with Facebook, which gave the team advice on how to reach viewers and generate ad revenue" (WSJ.com, 5/18).
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