Which brings us back to Facebook. Up until now, Facebook’s streaming exploits have been limited to soccer and surfing. By year’s end, Facebook will have exclusively live streamed 22 Major League Soccer games and 46 Mexican League soccer matches with English-language commentary. The broadcasts are handled by Univision Deportes, a unit of Univision Communciations Inc. Championships of the the World Surf League also will run on Facebook Live.
In the coming weeks, Facebook will make its Watch tab available to its 2 billion users, showcasing original video shows. The college football games also will air live on Watch. The platform is being rolled out by Facebook as part of a plan to centralize content only available at the website or through its mobile and TV apps. It’s another step in the accelerating fusion of tech and media.
Of course, Facebook, Amazon and Apple Inc. (AAPL) don’t make their money selling entertainment. Media content is simply a means to attract and sustain customers, or in the case of Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) Google, advertisers and eyeballs. Apple, which earlier this summer poached film executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg from Sony Pictures Television, has budgeted at least $1 billion to create as many as 10 original shows to stream over Apple Music, its subscription service that binds together its many hardware products, The Wall Street Journal reported on Aug. 16.