Sky to live-stream sport and news on Facebook

Facebook's new 'live-reactions' function

Facebook’s new ‘live reactions’ function

Sky is planning to broadcast “a great deal of content” on Facebook Live in the coming months across both news and sports, according to digital director Lucien Bowater.

In a company blog post, Bowater said that Sky will give a “unique behind the scenes look” at a number of major sporting events and breaking news stories by streaming on the social network.

“We’ve already been experimenting with it, and the results have been impressive. In less than 24 hours since its release, more than 100,000 people viewed Michael Atherton’s exclusive interview with Freddie Flintoff and Kumar Sangakkara at the T20 World Cup. In news, similar numbers watched Mark Stone’s live report on the migrant crisis in Calais,” said Bowater.

“The platform works for us because it allows our news and sports teams to connect with the audience in a slightly different way – offering a different perspective, one that might not otherwise be possible in such a fast moving environment.”

This week Sky said it will stream some exclusive content ahead of boxer Anthony Joshua’s bid for the world heavyweight title, as well as coverage of the junior doctors’ strike from Sky News with “much more to come”.

The Sky News, Sky Sports and Soccer AM Facebook pages have some 14 million followers and in the past three months Sky said it has seen almost 370 million video views.

Last month Sky also announced a major new commitment to developing virtual reality content and said it will publish VR content to Facebook’s 360 Video platform.

The latest news comes as Facebook announced new features for Facebook Live, giving users new ways to discover, share and interact with live video and to personalise their live broadcasts.

Facebook has now rolled out the ability to ‘go live’ in Facebook Groups and Facebook Events; ‘live reactions’ makes it easy for your viewers to express their feelings in real time during a live broadcast; while a new dedicated place on Facebook’s mobile app lets users discover live video.

Facebook said it will also soon introduce a set of five Live Filters that will let users draw or doodle on your video while live.

The social network started to test live video streaming in the US back in December.

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