If Facebook secure rights to stream FIFA World Cup

Antonio Lucio

There are indications that some social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are seeking rights to stream the FIFA World Cup highlights live.

It is quite an exciting news that the world might not have to depend on the traditional media to catch football’s most followed tournament anywhere and anytime.

According to a report on Bloomberg, these companies have offered 21st Century Fox Inc. millions of dollars for rights rights to highlights from the Russia-hosted games that air in the U.S., according to the people, who declined to provide more specific terms and asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Live streaming of the FIFA world cup by social media networks will definitely be a good addition, having struck a number of similar deals for the Olympics (Snapchat), the NFL (Twitter) and the UEFA Champions League (Facebook).

Interestingly however, more than one billion fans tuned in to watch the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, with the competition reaching a global in-home television audience of 3.2 billion people, according to final figures from FIFA and Kantar Media.

FIFA also provided an estimates that 280 million people watched games from the 2014 tournament online or on a mobile device.

Some key TV viewing figures from the 2014 FIFA World Cup

• Total in-home audience reach (1+ minute): 3.2 billion (no change on 2010)
• Final match total in- and out-of-home audience reach (1+ minute) hit 1.013 billion
• In-home audience for final (+20 minutes) up by 12% on 2010 to 695 million
• An estimated 280 million people watched matches online or on a mobile device
• Total broadcast hours: 98,087 (+36% on 2010)

Globally? It is yet to be seen how social media can crack the deal out from FIFA as the world football governing body contracts individually with national broadcasters, in a format which also gives them rights to online distribution in their respective countries.

Africa though has an estimated population of about 1,246,504,865 (2017) connected to the internet from which Facebook was said to have around 146,637,000 users as at June 30, 2016, the continent is yet to benefit and enjoy the live streaming opportunities afforded by social media. Issue of poor or unavailability of strong data network is still a problem in the part of the world.

Africa internet Data according to Internetworldstats