Facebook to add new Cricket tab to Watch, ramp engagement for T20 World Cup

As part of its multi-year clip rights partnership with the International Council, is going to add more ways for people to share, view and engage more with content in the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup.

This includes adding a tab to Watch, which will have dedicated cricket video content, allowing users to view game highlights, players and team related content and creator-led videos. It will also provide advertisers an opportunity to engage with cricket and brands. Watch is a combination of original programming and user generated content, and sees 1.25 million users monthly across the globe.

“We (will) have a dedicated Cricket (Facebook) Watch tab. While the tournament is on, ICC polls can be created straight on Stories, and you can create a league, that means you can play with each other and your friends while the tournament is on,” said Sandeep Bhushan, Director and Head, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook India. “India loves to share the excitement around sports,” he added.

As an example of the love for sport, he said, the recently concluded Olympics and the Paralympics saw the highest number of conversations on Facebook from India.

Given India’s long standing love for cricket, Facebook will leverage its global ICC partnership for the Men’s T20 World Cup, which will be held from October 17 to November 14 this year.

This means that while the World Cup is on, a new tab will be visible to users market “Cricket,” making it easier to discover and view match-related content. Further, users can also create their own League and play a quiz around ICC Topics with their friends and followers.

“Digital consumption of cricket through ICC events has consistently grown from strength to strength with Facebook emerging as a leading platform for us to engage with our fanbase. ICC’s partnership with Facebook will help cricket fans engage even more deeply with the sport during the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup by giving them an opportunity to not just watch a range of digital content but also provide them with a new way of engaging with the sport and live the game through unique social opportunities, allowing them to share, and express themselves during the tournament,” said Anurag Dahiya (ICC Chief Commercial Officer).

In July, ICC said Facebook provided most of the consumption across ICC digital assets with 423 million views and 368 million minutes consumed on the ICC Page on the social media platform.

The social media giant announced a four-year deal with the ICC in 2019, as its exclusive digital content rights partner for short clips in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

The deal includes match recaps, in-play key moments, other match and feature content, and post-match recaps for the rest of the world until 2023. It gives Facebook exclusive clip rights for ICC events, including the 2023 World Cup in India, in the Indian subcontinent, and non-exclusive for the rest of the world.

“People are not just talking to each other, but also talking to players and teams they want to access,” said Bhushan. “We’ll do in-match content every hour, match highlights while the match is on, the match preview…it’s a full cricket experience, but Facebook style,” he added.

According to Global WebIndex, 33.9 per cent of Facebookers follow teams and players in India, and therefore, Facebook will create an engaging experience for its users during the World Cup.

For creator-led content, Facebook is working with former cricketers like Akash Chopra, Virender Sehwag, and over 100 creators across categories such as food (Madhura’s Recipe), travel (Curly Tales) and DIY, Arts and Crafts to create cricket-related content during the T20 world cup. Further, businesses can use the high engagement around cricket by advertising on In-stream Reserve, Facebook’s most premium ad inventory.

As part of the new initiative, Facebook will have digital content from all 45 matches – 4200 mins of content including during the ICC T20 Men’s World Cup between October and November 2021

This includes:

  • Match preview (such as toss, pitch report, venue feature),

  • Key in-match moments – top of the hour recap

  • Post-match highlights – 5-10 min capsules post match

  • Other interesting content clips such as player interviews, behind-the- scenes, player and team compilations.

New Features for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup:

  • Dedicated Cricket tab on Watch during the duration of ICC T20 Men’s World Cup

  • Option to Create an ICC Poll in Stories

  • Create your own League and play a quiz around ICC Topics with your friends and followers

  • Key Facebook notifications to watch the match content on Watch, sharing it with friends

Some numbers:

  • Facebook provided 423 million views and 368 million minutes on the ICC Page during India-New Zealand final in Southampton in June

  • The Reserve Day saw the most views ever recorded across the ICC Facebook page on a single day- 65.7 mn individual views across a 24-hour period

  • IPL 2020 saw over 10 mn mentions on Facebook- 74 per cent people talking about IPL falling between the 18 – 34 years age group

  • Live broadcasts from Facebook Pages in India tripled last year (June 2020) compared to the same time in the previous year

  • More than 1.25 billion people visit Facebook Watch every month globally

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