Facebook live, here’s how to watch soccer matches live

Many pages have sprung up on social media where you can watch Serie A and the Champions League live. It's a phenomenon that is close to 2 billion users

Matches illegally streamed on various Internet sites are a hot topic in every country. In recent times many of the soccer streaming sites have been shut down, but most of them resurface after a few hours or days. However, there is one aspect that the controls have taken little notice of: live matches on Facebook.

Let's start by saying that the phenomenon is not as marginal as you might think. Since Facebook introduced live videos, the social has begun its transformation into a platform based primarily on video content. At the same time, several pages dedicated to live soccer matches have started to emerge: the social network has become a sort of alternative to soccer streaming sites, with thousands and thousands of users connected at the same time to the same match.

The pages that broadcast matches

Finding pages that illegally broadcast matches or other sporting events is less complex than you might think: just a search on a search engine and that's it. You will come across dozens and dozens of results that will allow you to access a long list of pages dedicated to specific teams or leagues. There are, at the same time, also dedicated groups where you can subscribe. The proliferation of these pages, point out some analysts of the sector, is mainly due to the increase in costs for a subscription to pay-TV in recent years (Mediaset and Sky in Italy), which has pushed sports fans to look for "alternative ways" to follow the team of the heart (such as pirate sites until a few months ago).

What is Facebook doing to counteract pirate live streaming?

The measures put in place by Facebook, at the moment, are not proving very effective. The social network has declared that it meticulously controls every live stream, and if any illegality is noticed, the stream is immediately stopped. It's not easy, however, as the software used relies on standard patterns to recognize an illegal video. The people who post matches online know these limits and to contain them they rotate the image slightly, change the audio or use small tricks to avoid being tracked. It's no coincidence that Facebook has recently declared that it is working on new algorithms to stop this phenomenon.

Sports on Facebook

But Facebook wants to do more. The social network has started to make agreements with several associations and sports leagues because it wants to become the platform recognized by all for streaming sports events, and not only. To give some examples, Facebook has made agreements with MLS, the U.S. soccer league, to broadcast 22 matches of the current championship. The social network has also made agreements with Manchester United and Everton and broadcast a friendly match for charity last year. The MX League (Mexico's top league) has also granted the social 46 season games to watch online via live online streaming. And finally, La Liga has also recently established that a weekly match can be seen live on the official Facebook page of the Spanish league. This system could affect some minor leagues or some events that are looking for new sponsors. It is difficult, however, that, for now, events such as the Champions League or the Premier League can give up the income from television to devote to social networks.