Facebook parent Meta is cutting executives that have focused on sports.
Per Sportico, Kevin Cote, Dev Sethi, and Rob Shaw are all leaving the company.
Cote worked as the company’s director of sports partnerships, while Sethi ran sports creator and college athlete partnerships. Shaw, the head of global sports media partnerships, confirmed his layoff on Wednesday.
Here’s how Sportico described the duties of the three.
Their responsibilities included managing Meta’s relationships with athletes, leagues and media partners. In recent years, that has meant evangelizing products ranging from Instagram to virtual reality, and getting sports stakeholders, from star Olympians to the world’s biggest soccer clubs, using various elements of its platforms.
Several years ago, Facebook began to dabble in airing live sports, which included deals for exclusive MLB games, Liga MX games, MLS games, and UEFA Champions League games. But despite the modest investments in live sports content, Mark Zuckerberg never seemed sold, At the end of 2019, both Facebook and Twitter decided to pivot away from exclusive live rights, and Facebook decided to focus more on licensing deals and less on live sports content early in 2020.
Last month, Facebook pivoted away from original content on Facebook Watch, instead shifting their focus to virtual reality. Several sports leagues and athletes struck deals with Facebook Watch to create original content, including Stephen Curry, Shaquille O’Neal, NASCAR, Kentucky basketball, and the Arizona Cardinals.