AP Photo/Owen Humphreys

Table Tennis England harnesses power of Facebook Live via new deal.

By Mark J. Burns
November 09, 2016

Read about the latest sports tech news, innovations, ideas and products that impact players, fans and the sports industry at SportTechie.com.

Live streaming is certainly sport-agnostic as evidenced by Table Tennis England’s recent partnership.

As part of a new broadcast rights deal with TheLADbible Group, the national governing body has begun streaming matches via the SPORTbible’s Facebook page, which has nearly nine million fans and is one of England’s most visited sports media sites.

After the initial match last week between Table Tennis England and Greece in a European Championships qualifying tie reached more than 2.2 million views to date and peak viewership at 21,000, it is safe to say both parties are happy with the new relationship.

“We are living in an age of disruption for many industries and sports broadcasting is no different,” Adam Clyne, COO of SPORTbible’s parent company LADbible, told the Belfast Telegraph.

“Facebook Live is a great platform for this and, if we can act as a conduit for a sport that doesn’t get many eyeballs, it’s a win-win.”

The broadcast, which included a four-camera setup, has almost 30,000 comments and over 1,500 shares as of this writing. According to Mark Taffler, Head of Commercial at the national governing body, streaming on Facebook Live allows for the organization to reach “new and younger audiences” for a sport without a bigger media deal.

“There is an appetite to watch our sport and, through a platform like SPORTbible, we are finding them,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

Along with table tennis, niche sports like boxing and mixed martial arts have also leveraged SPORTbible’s Facebook page for live streamed content.

“We’re continually innovating in the live video space on Facebook, so we’re looking forward to working with the team at Table Tennis England to bring the sport to a potential audience of millions,” TheLADbible Group co-founder Arian Kalantari said in a statement. “Our early tests with live sport on Facebook has shown that large audiences exist for sports that don’t necessarily get a primetime TV slot.”

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