Mediaset España, which owns Telecinco and Cuatro and has been one of the leading social TV broadcasters in Spain, will seek to tap into WhatsApp’s 26 million active Spanish users. The network has created a World Cup hub at www.telecinco.es/mundialbrasil2014, and fans will be able to stream up to six games at a time. Between Telecinco and Cuatro, Mediaset Spain will broadcast a total of 25 matches.
As part of the deal with WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook in February, Mediaset will provide viewers with a phone number and ask them send pictures and comments to be posted to Mediaset’s World Cup microsite. Mediaset will also be able to provide fans with scores and updates.
“We do not watch TV the same way we did four years ago, and we need to use the opportunities the technology is offering,” said Ana Bueno, Director of Multimedia Content, Mediaset España, in a statement. “The technology is going to be the core. We will broadcast different alternative signals in every match, with two signals from the benches, two for the players and one permanent signal recording the matches’ strategies,” added Bueno.
Earlier this month, Mediaset partnered with Applicaster to create an interactive second screen experience for the Spanish version of ‘Survivor.’ Mediaset’s World Cup social strategy will include Facebook and Twitter integrations, but other European TV networks will certainly be watching how Mediaset’s partnership with WhatsApp performs. The app’s ease of use and its immense popularity worldwide makes it likely that WhatsApp will become an integral part of broadcasters’ social TV strategy moving forward.