04/27/2012 :  PERFORM GROUP HEADS FOR FACEBOOK
 
Digital video provider to launch 50 sports channels on Facebook
 
Getting into the social gaming swing this week is UK digital video provider Perform Group, which has announced that it plans to launch over 50 sports channels on Facebook to provide fans with international football, tennis and other sports matches.
 
Perform’s Livesport.tv service offers mainly overseas sports, from Italian football to Australian rules football, for which it typically acquires global rights outside the home country and charges its viewers a monthly subscription. On-demand Premier League interviews and other shorter clips, already syndicated by Perform to newspaper websites, will be available to view for free, supported by advertising, reports the Financial Times.
 
Perform already has agreements to put its content on other social gaming destinations like Google’s YouTube site and LG’s smart television sets.
 
Company management believes the initiatives in the social gaming and networking sector will provide large volumes of traffic. When a Facebook user installs the Livesport app and starts watching a game, a message is sent to their Favebook friends to alert them and invite them to tune in and sharte the event.
 
Joint chief executive Oliver Slipper told the newspaper: “I am hopeful it will be one of, if not the most, important distribution partners for our content in the next year or two.
 
“Our live content predominantly is not available on television – it’s niche interest content. There are 10,000-20,000 hardcore Aussie rules football fans in the UK and integrating with Facebook is another way to reach those people as effectively as possible.”
 
Perform plans to use Facebook’s forthcoming ability to pay by subscription through its virtual currency, Facebook Credits, Slipper said, adding that  demographic information gathered through Facebook would enable Perform to provide better targeting opportunities for advertisers.
 
“People are spending so much time on Facebook now that some of their external web usage may be falling,” Slipper said. “You don’t want to be a destination portal outside of the Facebook environment, you want to be both outside and within to capture as much usage as possible.”
 
Facebook will generate revenue from advertising around the Livesport apps.
 
The FT notes that Perform’s launch is among the biggest attempts to harness the Facebook’s 900 million users for live sports.
 
“Last year there was a lot of focus on mobile – we launched pretty much all our products on each of the mobile operating systems,” Slipper concluded. “This year the large-screen ‘over the top’ opportunity is the one that excites us more than anything.”