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Eleven Sports agrees UK deal with Facebook ahead of streaming service launch

Sports broadcaster Eleven Sports has teamed up with Facebook to make the social media platforms its free-to-air partner in the UK and Ireland.

The partnership is the latest extension to Eleven’s various collaborations with Facebook and comes ahead of the planned launch of its own online streaming service in the UK and Ireland, expected later this week.

Eleven recently hired Scott Fenton to head up its marketing and communications activities in the UK market ahead of the launch of the OTT TV service. Fenton was previously head of international marketing and brand strategy for EMEA at UFC and has also worked for the NBA and ESPN.

In July, Eleven announced that it would launch two UK and Ireland channels in partnership with IMG to carry Serie A and La Liga football that would be distributed via the new streaming service.

Scott Fenton

As part of the latest deal with Facebook, Eleven will make at least one match per week from both Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A available free of charge on its UK Facebook page. A selection of games from the other top-flight football leagues available on Eleven Sports will also be shown on Facebook across the season.

Games to be featured on the social media platform include Cristiano Ronaldo’s debut for Juventus, as well as matches featuring Real Madrid, Barcelona and Napoli.

The Facebook matches will kick off on August 17 with Girona v Valladolid, followed by Chievo v Juventus the following day and Valencia v Atletico Mardrid on August 20.

Eleven will also show the first two rounds of the 2018 PGA Championship, on August 9-10, in full, live on Facebook in the UK and Ireland.

The move follows Facebook collaborations in other markets including Germany, Poland and Belgium. Last weekend Eleven streamed a Trophée des Champions match between PSG and Monaco on Facebook in Portugal – a first for the Portuguese market, where Eleven launched a service recently in partnership with cable operator Nowo.

Eleven said it was also in discussion with other major platforms in the UK and Ireland to make its content available more widely in those markets.