Facebook signs Australian content deals with AFL, NRL and cricket

• The codes will showcase a range of sports content across Facebook Watch

Facebook Australia has signed global partnerships with the major Australian sporting codes NRL and AFL.

The codes will showcase a range of sports content across Facebook Watch that includes match highlights from the AFL and NRL women’s and men’s games, live original programs, season classic matches and weekly wrap up shows.

In addition, Facebook is working with Cricket Australia to extend the partnership which saw thirty-six of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) matches streamed across Watch in 18-19, along with unique cricket content that brought fans closer to their favourite players.

Joyee Biswas, Head of Sports Partnerships APAC, Facebook commented: “Strong partnership with broadcasters, rights holders, clubs, leagues, athletes and content creators that focus on bringing compelling content that complement live TV viewing experiences is key for Facebook Australia. These partnerships will bring new value to the industry by continuing to experiment and innovate with fan experiences aiming to redefine how fans gather and what sports community means in the digital age.”

Supporting Australia’s content community

In addition to the sports partnerships, Facebook also announced that original content creator Jamie Zhu will launch a new show on Facebook. V13Ws, a live online talk show that collaborates with musicians, artists, health and fitness experts, will create an immersive and interactive experience between audiences, brands and content creators.

Will Easton, Managing Director of Facebook Australia, commented: “Each month 16 million Australians come together on the platform to connect and share with family and friends, and key sporting moments are regularly a focus of conversation. Sports fans on Facebook are one of the most highly engaged communities and these partnerships with the codes offer followers exciting content to engage with in new ways. We’re thrilled that through Facebook, Aussies will be able to get the highlights from both sports and live original programs.”

Andrew Abdo, NRL Chief Commercial Officer, commented:

“This is about providing another avenue for new and existing fans to access our game.”

“Our club members are increasing every year and our national and global audiences continue to diversify and consume their rugby league content where and when they want.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity to extend our reach and product offering across two social media platforms that reach billions of people every day.”

Anthony Everard, Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager – Fan Engagement said:

“Through our strategic partnership with Facebook in the summer of 18/19 we were able to lift viewership for 36 WBBL matches and help build connections between fans and their favourite players from the men’s and women’s national teams by amplifying unique storytelling.

“During one match between the Sydney Sixers and Brisbane Heat on December 22, we saw more than 1,200 concurrent viewers and more broadly, Facebook provided 31% of our ‘minutes viewed online’ metric for WBBL within Australia.”

Julian Dunne, Head of Content and Distribution at the AFL said:

“The AFL is excited to continue our partnership with Facebook. We have such a passionate and loyal fan base and we want to ensure that our AFL and AFLW content reaches as many fans as possible and they can consume it all over the globe across the channels they prefer.”

Jamie Zhu said: “Facebook has been an amazing platform for me for the past four years. It has allowed me to launch my career and I’m super excited to be starting my own live show V13WS with them. There will be well known guests and fun activities throughout the series.”

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