Facebook and Fox Sports are coming together to give watching sports a social twist. Starting Saturday with the College Football game between Hawaii and USC, fans will have a direct impact on the game’s broadcast through the popular social network. Facebook and Fox Sports are calling this new program Social Sidelines, and it will be used in sports events in the future. We should see Social Sidelines implemented in Major League Baseball, NBA and NFL games fairly soon.
According to Nick Grudin, Facebook’s chief of community partnerships and on-air integrations, “Across Facebook, we see sporting events inspire passionate conversations, and team allegiances create strong communities. Facebook-Fox Sports Social Sidelines blends the live sports TV viewing experience with the social activity that’s already happening.”
During the broadcasts, Fox Sports will use data from Facebook to see which teams are generating the most buzz. Fox will also use the data to provide the ten most talked-about teams on Facebook throughout the week. This information will be reported and shared during the broadcasts.
In addition to using fans’ buzz, they will also poll fans on pressing questions and have fan of the week contests designed to get fans to engage. During games, Fox Sports will take over Facebook.com/sports, which has almost three million Likes.
People talk about sports on social networks all the time. This leads me to wonder when we will see similar integration from other companies either through Facebook or Twitter.