An inside look at Univision’s partnership with Facebook for the World Cup

By Natan Edelsburg 

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 2.27.53 AMThe World Cup is underway as millions take to social to share their passion for the games. Every major sporting event creates another opportunity for the major social networks to innovate in social TV and find a unique way to deliver content. For this year’s World Cup, Univision and Facebook struck an impressive partnership to track the games. “Univision will integrate Facebook and Instagram content in broadcast coverage while viewers are watching Univision Deportes Futbol Club, Contacto Deportivo, Republica Mundialista, as well as pre- and post-game coverage,” according to the announcement.

Facebook has launched special layer of data and content specifically for the World Cup, and as a result Univision is making a big investment in rolling out new, on-air tools to bring Facebook conversation and Instagram photos to broadcast in real-time. We interviewed Bob Morgan from Facebook’s Public Content Solutions (PCS) partner program and David Beck Univision’s Senior Vice President & General Manager of Social Media.

WC POSTER 18x24“We want to give our fans a live experience and a more engaging experience, wherever they are, whenever and on the device of their choosing,” Beck told Lost Remote. “Univision has one of the most socially engaged audiences in the industry and we know they will be interacting live across the entire World Cup,” he added. “The daily broadcast segments will feature a mix of Facebook posts by athletes, teams and public figures, fan comments, various chatter data (such as which players are top talk on Facebook, etc.), along with Instagram photos by teams, players and fans.”

Facebook has also already released data from last night’s big game. Globally, over 58 million people had more than 140 million Facebook interactions (posts, comments, likes) related to Brazil’s win over surprising Croatia in the opening match of the World Cup yesterday. This includes about 16 million Brazilians who had more than 40 million Facebook interactions about the match, representing nearly 30% of Facebook daily actives in the host country, according to Facebook.

Lost Remote: Why is the World Cup an important social TV opportunity for Facebook?

Bob Morgan: Sports are inherently social, and we consistently see a massive volume of conversation on Facebook around big sporting events. The World Cup is unique because it’s fundamentally global, and millions of people all over the world will come to Facebook this summer to connect and engage with friends, and to join the conversation with some of their favorite World Cup teams and players. We know that more than 500 million people are connected with soccer teams and players on Facebook, which is twice as many as the next biggest sport, and that’s really just scratching the surface when it comes to the global conversation about the World Cup.”

LR: Why are you partnering with Univision?
Morgan: It just makes sense. Facebook is in lockstep with Univision in developing a fan-centric experience for the World Cup. Univision is not afraid to innovate, and is utilizing some of Facebook’s brand-new, on-air tools for broadcasters to bring Facebook conversation and Instagram photos to their viewers in real-time. Facebook has built a special layer of data and content specifically for the World Cup, and is working directly with partners to develop specialized broadcast toolkits. Our new Public Content Solutions partner program is tapping into Facebook’s new APIs and adding to the ecosystem. Together, Univision and Facebook are innovating in this space, and we are thrilled to have Univision as a partner.