Facebook Turning On Trending Hub For All Remaining NBA, NHL Games This Season
Facebook has turned on its trending Hub for every NBA and NHL game through the rest of the season, company Head of Global Sports Sponsorships Dan Reed said Thursday. Facebook used the Hub for the FIFA World Cup last year and Super Bowl XLIX earlier this month as a way to aggregate posts, pictures and videos around big events. During the Super Bowl, the Hub featured live scoring and running play-by-play from the game. Facebook said more than 65 million people posted about Super Bowl XLIX during the game, but it did not break out specific numbers for the Hub. “This is a product that we want to continue to evolve,” Reed said. "The ultimate goal is to create a real-time experience on Facebook for every sporting event that happens globally. Trending does that for top trending items. But not every sports event trends.” Facebook still plans to use it during big events, and will have something up and running for the ICC Cricket World Cup, which starts Saturday. Reed mentioned March Madness and the UEFA Champions League final as other events where Facebook would roll it out. “More than 60 million people were on Facebook at the start of the fourth quarter,” Reed said. "Magically, 4 million people showed up at the end of the Super Bowl broadcast. This is a way to engage those people and funnel them into the broadcast."
NOT GETTING ON THE GRIDIRON: The NFL is seeking a digital company to distribute one '15 regular-season game via an over-the-top platform, but Facebook is not one of the companies that will be making a bid. The social media company has seen a lot of video growth on its network and is prepared to live stream some events. But Reed said, “We wouldn’t be bidding for that.” The NFL has had meetings with companies like Google, YouTube and Yahoo to distribute the game, which also will be carried on broadcast stations in both teams’ home markets. The league has not announced which game will be made available, but sources say it is likely to be one of the three London games. The Bills-Jaguars game on Oct. 25 is the best bet, sources said.