Facebook Watch Gets Some Exclusive ESPN Content

Interactive features including Watch Party are part of the pact

Watch Parties will be used to help drive engagement
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ESPN is bringing exclusive digital shows and content to Facebook Watch under terms of an agreement between the sports giant and the social network.

Features such as Watch Parties, polls and live question-and-answer sessions with talent will be used to help boost interactions and engagements between ESPN and fans.

The ESPN content coming to Facebook Watch under Monday’s pact includes:

  • Always Late With Katie Nolan: Emmy Award-winning host Katie Nolan will helm a late-night sports-comedy show on ESPN2 starting Thursday (Sept. 26) at 12:30 a.m. ET and exclusive segments will be presented on Facebook Watch.
  • Countdown to GameDay: Think of it as a pregame show before the pregame show, as one of ESPN’s college football analysts or reporters will host this Facebook Watch show every Saturday, leading into College GameDay on ESPN.
  • Fantasy Focus Live: Facebook Watch is getting an exclusive version of the fantasy sports podcast of the same name, hosted by experts Matthew Berry, Field Yates, Stephania Bell and Daniel Dopp, who will provide player previews, injury reports, game overviews and strategies throughout football season. Fan questions and opinions will be incorporated into the Facebook Watch version of Fantasy Focus Live, and key football moments and social content will be used to engage the audience.
  • The People’s MMA Show: Award-winning journalist Ariel Helwani explores the connections between the stories told by mixed-martial-arts fighters and their achievements inside the cage. The weekly show will include viewer submissions, interactive polls and live Q&As on the ESPN MMA Facebook page.

Facebook head of league and media sports partnerships Rob Shaw said in a release, “We’re incredibly excited to bring such a strong slate of ESPN programming to Facebook Watch. ESPN produces world-class content, so we have no doubt that these shows will inspire the type of conversation and connection that makes Facebook Watch a unique way to experience sports.”

And ESPN senior vice president of digital and social content Ryan Spoon added, “We are extending some of our most popular ESPN shows and creating new ones with content available only on Facebook and Facebook Watch. This allows us to connect with fans and drive the conversation around sports in a way that leverages what we and the platform do best.”

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