Football: Facebook scores deal to stream MLS matches

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Facebook has struck a deal to stream matches from US-based Major League Soccer, in the latest social network tie-up for live sports.

At least 22 matches for the 2017 season which are broadcast in Spanish on Univision Deportes will be streamed on Facebook Live with English language commentators, under the deal announced by Major League Soccer and Univision.

The live streamed matches, which will be produced for viewing on mobile devices, will feature Facebook-specific commentators, interactive graphics, fan questions-and-answers and polling features "allowing viewers to engage directly with commentators throughout matches," according to a statement from the league.

The first MLS match to be streamed on Facebook will be Atlanta United hosting the Chicago Fire on March 18.

MLS will also produce 40 "Matchday Live" shows for Facebook that will include highlights and analysis and a preview of the day's upcoming matches.

"We are committed to serving our passionate fans," said Gary Stevenson, president and managing director for MLS Business Ventures.

"We are working with all of our partners on making sure our games, and additional content, get to our fans anytime, anywhere, and on any device."

The move comes after Twitter's deal last year to stream NFL football matches via that social network, and a number of partnerships with other platforms to deliver highlights and other content online.