Andres Leighton/AP

Facebook's latest venture into live-streaming sports events comes courtesy of beIN SPORTS, a digital partner of Conference USA.

By Diamond Leung
September 07, 2016

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Facebook is now live-streaming college football games thanks to beIN SPORTS kicking off its broadcasting rights deal with Conference USA.

The cable television network better known for its soccer coverage aired its first college football game on Saturday when UTEP defeated New Mexico State. The game—the first of 10 Conference USA contests to be broadcast as part of the deal—presented beIN SPORTS with the opportunity to promote its coverage with streaming on Facebook Live.

Calling the live-stream “a launching pad to get more people to watch” the broadcast, beIN SPORTS Americas spokeswoman Valerie Boldrin wrote in an email that the company “worked and collaborated closely” with Facebook.

The next two Conference USA football games to appear on beIN SPORTS will also be streamed on Facebook with Marshall hosting Morgan State on Sept. 10 and Southern Miss hosting Troy on Sept. 17, according to Boldrin.

After those games, Conference USA football will continue to appear on the television network and be live-streamed on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.

The addition of college football is what led beIN SPORTS to announce last month that former NFL players Donovan McNabb, O.J. McDuffie and Ki-Jana Carter would appear on studio shows before the games, at halftime, and afterward for analysis. Another former NFL player, Brett Romberg, provides color commentary in the broadcast booth.

“We were thrilled to acquire the rights to this stellar collegiate athletic conference, and are even more excited to now launch new, original programming to complement it,” Yousef Al-Obaidly, deputy CEO of beIN Media Group, said in a statement. “Collaborating with former college and NFL legends like McNabb, McDuffie, Carter and Romberg will truly elevate and strengthen the football coverage for fans nationwide, and beIN SPORTS is committed to providing them with access to all the live sports action they crave, when they want and where they want to watch.”

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