Facebook India has announced a partnership with Sony Pictures Network, in light of the ongoing India vs Australia cricket series. While the live matches themselves remain available to watch on Sony Sports' TV channels and via Sony Liv, the Facebook-Sony partnership will see Sony Sports offering match highlights, as well as clips of the best in-match moments such as the best catches, best sixes, wickets and best innings, through the Sony Sports India official Facebook page. The content will be widely distributed across Facebook for the millions of cricket fans in India to enjoy, as the Virat Kohli-led Indian national cricket team takes on Aaron Finch's Australia.
The India vs Australia match videos will be made available on the Facebook Watch video streaming service, which is integrated into the main Facebook app for easy access. Cricket fans will now be able to easily share the match videos and other related content with their friends, and even host watch groups to enjoy moments from the matches with their peers. According to a Facebook spokesperson, the live match streams will still be reserved for Sony's own TV channels and the Sony Liv video streaming app, but pre- and post-match content will be made extensively available via the Sony Sports India page on Facebook.
Facebook already has standing partnerships in the field of sports to reach out to billions of sports fans around the world. Most notably, Facebook is the official match streaming partner for the top Spanish football league, La Liga. Unlike the India vs Australia content agreement struck between Facebook and Sony, La Liga matches are directly streamed now on Facebook's Watch service, which allows viewers to comment and participate in common discussions in real time, along with hosting watch parties to stream a live match of football along with their friends. While the latest arrangement during the ongoing India vs Australia tournament is not quite the same, it may serve as a precursor to Facebook attempting to get more users onboarding its Facebook Watch video streaming service.
India vs Australia is one of the first tournaments post the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic that is seeing live audiences return to stadiums, albeit not in full capacities. The tournament commenced Friday, November 27, and will include three one-day matches, three T20s and four test matches. The tournament will continue till January 19, 2021. As of now, it is Australia that has the upper hand, after an all-round batting and bowling performance saw Aaron Finch's men begin the campaign with a convincing 66-run victory against India's formidable batting lineup. Both Aaron and Steve Smith scored centuries, while David Warner and Glenn Maxwell scoring freely as well. For India, while Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya batted well, most of the remaining lineup got off to decent starts, but lost wickets at regular intervals, eventually leading to India slumping to a loss in their first match down-under. The next match is scheduled for Sunday, November 29, and will start at 9:10AM IST.