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Facebook secures deal to stream Champions League matches in Latin America

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Soccer fans, get psyched

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Facebook has secured the rights to broadcast UEFA matches in much of Latin America, the association said yesterday. This can give Latin American soccer fans the chance to tune into their favorite sport without the need to pay to watch on their local TV station.

The contract includes a free live stream of both the organization’s Champions League and Super Cup matches, adding up to 32 matches per season. A ton of Latin America’s top players take part in these leagues every year, making this partnership a big deal for many soccer fans.

It’s the latest in Facebook’s attempt to tackle the live sports streaming market, including its move in January to hire Peter Hutton, then the CEO of the TV network Eurosport. Facebook’s tapped similar deals for other sports in the past — it’s scored deals with other large sports orgs, like the NBA. But it’s still unclear if deals like these give the platform an edge over other social networks like Twitter, which secured its own MLB deal earlier this year, or streaming services like YouTube.

Facebook’s EUFA contract will run from 2018 to 2021, and is limited to Spanish-speaking countries. The deal started with this week’s Super Cup on August 15th. Facebook will also be sharing highlights every week there’s a match.