Through collaboration with both MLS and Univision Deportes, Facebook won the rights to stream the 2017 MLS regular-season matches in English. They will also enhance the video content with various interactive elements.
The streams will include Facebook-specific commentators and interactive graphics. There will also be a fan Q and A, and polling features that will help Facebook users engage with the commentators as the matches take place.
According to the terms of the agreement, MLS will also produce more than 40 original "matchday live" analysis shows that will be posted to the Univision Deportes Facebook page. The shows will include highlights and discussions from around the league, as well as the previews of the upcoming matches.
The live streams of the matches themselves will be on the MLS Facebook page. They will kick off with Atlanta United hosting the Chicago Fire on March 18 at 4 pm ET.
The matches will be available on both desktop and mobile, via the Facebook Live platform. There will be unique camera angles optimized for mobile viewing. They may, however, include ad tests, like placing ad breaks in the middle of streams.
Univision says that more than 18 million English-language viewers have tuned to its network to watch soccer. The company sees the new deal as another way to reach those fans.
"We are committed to serving our passionate fans," said Gregory Stevenson, president and managing director, MLS Business Ventures.