Facebook focuses on developing its ‘niche sports’ capacity

Peter Hutton, Facebook’s Director of Sports Partnerships, has detailed that the US social media and technology giant is developing a strategy to help cover ‘underserved sports’.

As reported by Broadcast Now, Hutton told Sportel Monaco exhibition audiences that Facebook platforms would be better served to tap up niche audiences attracted to sports which have limited coverage across traditional mainstream media verticals.

The former Chief Executive of broadcaster Eurosport (Discovery Inc) underlined Facebook’s capacity for accommodating sports which may not maintain TV-friendly formats.

In his address, Hutton highlighted Facebook’s broadcast of this October’s Ironman World Championship in Kona Hawaii, a 12-hour programme which broke the social media platform’s record as its most-viewed non-football sporting event.

“You can’t show Ironman for 12 hours on linear but clearly there is a really big fanbase,” said Hutton, explaining that Facebook offers so-called ‘niche sports’ with the best media platform to cultivate audiences.

The executive downplayed constant rumours surrounding Facebook preparing bids for major sports broadcast rights and competing against Sports traditional media incumbents.

Instead, he suggested that the strength of Facebook would be seen in leveraging its network of popular socially led technologies such as WhatsApp and Instagram driving user engagement with sports.

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