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Facebook is teasing pay-per-view sports events on the platform

Facebook intends to bring sports events for smaller leagues, as well as tournaments.

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Last summer, Facebook launched its paid online events product. This enabled people that own or run Facebook pages to host, create, and monetize their live events. The monetization comes in the form of ticket sales. Anyone who wants to watch a paid event still needs to buy a ticket through Facebook Pay. For now, hosts receive 100% of all the revenue. However, that is bound to change this August as Facebook plans to start taking a cut from the earnings. 

Rob Shaw, an executive at Facebook, gave an interview with CNBC. He spoke about the product and the idea of adding sports events to the portfolio that can be hosted via the paid online events feature. A Facebook spokesperson also confirmed that Facebook is also going to adopt sports events in the paid online events feature.

Facebook intends to bring sports events for smaller leagues, as well as tournaments. High school sports events, third and second-tier sports leagues will be able to benefit from this new feature, attract an audience, and earn some money in the process. Top sports leagues such as the NBA and the NFL won’t be available through this feature because they already have ongoing deals with big media companies. 

But before hosting a paid event, Facebook will vet the hosts to ensure that they pass integrity checks. They will be able to host an event only after they get approval. Facebook also plans to monitor events so that explicit content is not presented on its platform. 

According to Shaw, Facebook’s immediate plans are to add the pay-per-view option for streaming sports events on the platform. Shaw believes that with the help of this feature, many sports companies, other businesses, and organizations can increase their revenue by selling tickets for their virtual events. He also drew a parallel between pay-per-view on cable and paying for a virtual ticket. 

Shaw referenced the WWE and HBO, which have successfully run their respective pay-per-view operations for decades now. He doesn’t think that this model is “on the verge of extinction,” as some would suggest. He defended this business model against paid subscriptions, claiming that most people are not that eager to get into a subscription right away instead of just buying tickets.

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