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March 12, 2018

Twitter looks to score a goal with new deal for Major League Soccer games

by John_A

The social media giants are continuing with efforts to bring live sports action to their users, with both Twitter and Facebook announcing deals in recent days.

While Facebook focuses on Major League Baseball with live coverage of 25 games starting this year, Twitter has inked a three-year deal with Major League Soccer to show at least 24 games live on its platform. The first kicked off on Saturday and featured Real Salt Lake’s clash with LAFC. (The expansion LAFC hammered hosts RSL 5-1.)

Twitter’s live soccer action is viewable only within the United STates, but fans around the world can enjoy regular highlights and special features by following top American soccer teams and players via MLS’s Twitter handles @MLS and @FutbolMLS. The two outfits will also work together to produce exclusive content for the league’s big events, including the MLS All-Star Game, Heineken Rivalry Week, Decision Day, and the MLS Cup, according to Variety.

The MLS website shows all of the upcoming games lined up for Twitter. The feed comes from the Spanish-language Univision TV network, though on Twitter the games will be shown with English commentary.

The deal is a win for soccer fans interested in the domestic league, while Twitter will be hoping the partnership can draw more people to its platform as it continues to diversify its offerings and further explore live video content. The strategy also has the potential to increase engagement with the platform — important for Twitter if it’s to attract advertisers to the platform and maintain current contracts.

“We are excited to collaborate with Major League Soccer to bring live soccer matches and video highlights to Twitter,” said Kay Madati, global head of content partnerships at Twitter, adding, “Passionate MLS fans will now have live match day action alongside real-time commentary from experts and fellow fans all in one place.”

Chris Schlosser, senior vice president of media at MLS, said his organization “constantly strives to connect with fans in new and innovative ways. Our fans are the youngest and most socially engaged in pro sports, which is why we are excited to partner with Twitter to feature live matches on their platform.”

As we mentioned at the top, Twitter’s deal comes just as Facebook announced a partnership with the MLB for 24 live games, starting in April. Digging a little deeper, we also see that Facebook actually had the rights to the MLS games last season, but this year Twitter has stepped in to score a new deal.

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