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Facebook (FB) Eyes Asian Market EPL Broadcasting Rights

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Facebook (FB - Free Report) is contending for broadcasting English Premier League (EPL) in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, Bloomberg reports.

The company is said to be competing with BeIN Sports for acquiring the three-year deal. The Qatar-based broadcaster has reportedly paid about $250 million for screening all 380 matches per season in the region under the three-year deal, adds Bloomberg.

Facebook, by focusing on bringing highly popular sports tournament on the platform, is trying to lure users and improve the “time well spent” on the platform.

Live Streaming Gaining Traction

Streaming live sports is one of the most lucrative opportunities as it helps to boost engagement levels of users and bring more advertisers.

Notably, all social media sites are scrambling to get more and more sports oriented live streaming on their platform. Absence of streaming giant Netflix (NFLX - Free Report) in live sports streaming is a positive for them.

Facebook has signed a deal with Major League Baseball (MLB) to stream 25 games on Watch this season. Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) recently secured the live rights for 20 Premier League games a season in the UK starting 2019.

Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) also announced more than 30 renewed and new deals for live and original programming. Notably, sports leagues including MLB and Major League Soccer are also included in the deal.

We note that Facebook is aggressively promoting “Live” in order to boost its top line further. It intends to capture the opportunity presented by ever increasing video viewing on social media platforms.

The company is trying to incorporate more and more video-oriented content to bring in more ad dollars as video ads generate more revenues than its photo and text-based substitutes. Ad revenues contribute over 98% to Facebook’s total revenues.

Asia Holds Promise

Facebook is looking to expand further in the Asian market as it accounts for the company’s fastest growing user base in terms of geography. Reportedly, the platform’s monthly active users in Asia have risen 54% in the past two years to 873 million.

Notably, despite the services being blocked in China, the region still makes up nearly 40% of the company's total user base.

Moreover, the company is experiencing better growth in the region compared to the United States. However, average revenue per user is significantly low in these regions compared with the United States, which is a concern.

Facebook currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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