AP Photo/Bruce Lipsky

Mercer Athletics cuts deal with Facebook for exclusive men’s basketball broadcast.

By Mark J. Burns
December 01, 2016

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Daniel Tate wants Mercer Athletics to be one of the “trendsetters” when it comes to live streaming sports content.

It’s why Mercer recently partnered with Facebook to live stream Tuesday’s men’s basketball game against Davidson at Hawkins Arena, making it the first individual school to broadcast a Division I college athletics event exclusively via Facebook Live.

“We know this is the future,” said Tate, Mercer’s associate athletic director for external relations.

The game broadcast through the “all-in-one engagement platform,” as Mercer recently described Facebook, will be live streamed on the Mercer Athletics Facebook page and also shared on the pages for the Southern Conference, Atlantic 10 and Sports on Facebook, which have four million combined “Likes.” On the platform, fans will be able to comment in real-time as they try to win free Bears gear and other prizes during the broadcast.

Earlier this fall, the Atlantic 10 Conference also joined forces with Facebook Live to stream upwards of 15 regular season games this season. According to Bernadette McGlade, A-10 Commissioner, it was important for the conference to “keep pace with the latest technology” as it searches for new ways to engage fans. 

“Delivering real-time games on Facebook Live gives us opportunities to experiment with new ways to include our corporate partners in our digital strategy and enhance the value of being associated with the A-10,” she added. 

Unlike tonight’s Mercer broadcast, the A-10’s games on Facebook Live are available through the conference’s website and mobile app, too.

Similarly, the Ivy League is in the midst of its Facebook Live Week as it partnered with the social platform to highlight 15 Ivy League Digital Network (ILDN) broadcasts from Nov. 22-Dec. 3. The simulcast broadcasts will include men’s basketball (5 games) and women’s basketball (7) along with men’s (2) and women’s ice hockey (1).

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