In an attempt to utilize the medium of Facebook Live, Bleacher Report has announced that it will stream three high school football games. And this won’t be a traditional stream where fans will just watch, Bleacher Report says it will include interactivity and what is called “Millennial-friendly” content for those watching on mobile devices.
First things first. Bleacher Report states that it will stream the following games:
- Sylvan Hills at Pulaski Academy (Little Rock, Arkansas) – Friday, October 14
The stream will focus on Pulaski coach Kevin Kelley who refuses to punt, goes for two-point conversions after each touchdown and choosing to onside kick.
- Antioch at Deer Valley (Antioch, Calif.) – Friday, October 21
Antioch running back and Alabama recruit Najee Harris will be the storyline for this stream. Bleacher Report will have special camera angles and features on Harris.
- IMG Academy at Bishop Sullivan (Virginia Beach, VA) – Saturday, November 19
Two of the top high school programs in the country, there will be approximately 30 Division I prospects playing in the game.
Due to the games being streamed on Facebook Live, the broadcasters will be able to interact with viewers in real-time. Viewers can ask questions in the comments section, utilize polls and engage fans in discussions.
As far as the millennial aspect is concerned, Bleacher Report says it will include such features like a “1,000 balloons, 1 golden ticket” video. One thousand balloons were filled and inside one is a golden ticket that will allow the winner to design and call Pulaski’s first play of the game. And producers will be capturing Instagram and using the MSQRD app which allows users to try out different masks and effects.
In addition, Pulaski coach Kelley will be mic’d throughout the game and will provide live commentary when his team decides to go for it on fourth down.
So this is not going to be a traditional broadcast. And with Facebook Live, it increases the interactivity. Earlier this year, Facebook gained the rights to stream CONCACAF Champions League soccer games, one NWSL game and selected Conference USA football simulcasts in association with beIN Sports, but they productions that similar to TV where viewers watched and didn’t interact directly with the on-site announcers.
While Facebook hasn’t been aggressive in obtaining live sports like Twitter, this allows the social media service to stand out and be different.from its rival.
And the fact that it’s deliberately going for a millennial audience will provide a test that other content providers are going to monitor to see if this is the way for younger audiences to consume live sports.