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The BBC will partner with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) to allow users of the social network to watch, share, and comment on live video from this summer’s Olympic Games. The network is already being beta tested using tennis streams from Wimbledon in London.
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According to the BBC blog, the app is entirely delivered within Facebook and uses the functionality of the social network to enhance the experience. “For example, when you watch a match in Facebook, you can see how many people—and how many people you’re friends with on Facebook—are watching that same event,” the blog post says.
Users will be able to chat with other users, see which matches or events are the most popular on Facebook, and switch to a different video stream based on that. There will be up to 24 different streams available at a time during the Olympics. However, BBC’s Olympic Facebook app will only be available to residents in the U.K. due to licensing restrictions.
“With our Facebook app we aim to bring even greater value to our online audiences, enabling them to watch together and share their excitement,” said Phil Fearnley, General Manager BBC News & Knowledge. “We hope to use it to test the benefits of social viewing, as part of our ambition to deliver more innovative and transformative experiences to sports fans.”
BBC is also making Summer Games coverage available online at bbc.co.uk/sport, on mobiles and tablets, and on connected TVs. The BBC Sport site receives over 20 million requests for streaming content each month. Facebook has more than 30 million monthly active users in the U.K.
Shares of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) closed down 27 cents at $31.09 per share on Friday.
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