Facebook is reportedly building a fairly large war chest to go after streaming sports rights and looking to hire an executive to go out and find those streaming deals.
According to Sports Business Journal, Facebook is setting aside a “few billion dollars” for global sports streaming rights.
As Recode points out, a multibillion-dollar commitment to streaming sports might not stretch that far when considering the length of contract and costs per year some media companies pay for sports rights. DirecTV, for instance, renewed its Sunday Ticket deal with the NFL for $1.5 billion per year until 2022.
But Facebook has shown recently that it’s willing to drop significant amounts of money on sports streaming rights. The social media company reportedly bid about $600 million for five years of streaming rights to Indian Premier League games. It lost out to 21st Century Fox-owned Star India, which paid $2.5 billion for broadcast and streaming rights combined.
But Facebook has won some sports streaming rights deals. This year, the company signed a deal with Major League Baseball to livestream one game per week during the 2017 season, and it signed a deal with Major League Soccer and Univision Deportes to livestream a “full slate” of regular season matches.
Facebook has also been thrown around as one of the reported bidders this year and last year for streaming rights to NFL Thursday Night Football. Twitter won the bidding war in 2016, paying $10 million for 10 games, while Amazon this year won with a $50 million bid for 10 Thursday night games plus one more NFL game on Christmas Day.