Social video: Real Madrid taps Facebook Live, videos reach 1B social feeds

The world’s most popular European football club, Real Madrid, is setting course on a content distribution strategy that may help provide a roadmap for other sports looking to turn social media into more than an exchange of pithy comments.

The Spanish club is including content from its own TV channel on Facebook Live 128 times and has seen video views on the social media platform top 110 million, according to The Drum, with that same content shared in more than one billion social feeds.

Real Madrid, obviously, isn’t the only sports franchise taking advantage of social media to get video out.

The NFL, for example, this year tapped Twitter to extend its traditional live broadcasts of NFL Thursday Night games.

The NBA, which has the largest Twitter audience of any of the Big 4 U.S. sports leagues, earlier this month streamed a couple of preseason games on Twitter and is delivering two original shows a week to its Twitter followers, both being produced by Turner Sports:

The Starters Twitter Show will feature NBA TV’s collection of fan-focused voices with a unique take on the game. It’s being streamed live on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. ET throughout the regular season.

The Warmup is a blend of the NBA, lifestyle, music, and pop culture. The 30-minute show streams Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. ET, before Turner Sports’ NBA on TNT coverage featuring doubleheader action.

A plethora of other sports leagues and franchises are hoping to reach younger sports viewers with highlights – and a broad range of original programming – going out regularly across Twitter, Snap and Facebook.

Social video initially was seen as a potential disruptor by the sports establishment because apps like Periscope, Meerkat and Facebook Live made it possible for fans to broadcast live video of the events they were attending, while others, like Vine, Instagram and Snap made it easy to take video, edit and upload clips.

But, rather than cutting into revenues, officials are finding that there’s marketing gold in fans’ shared experience from games… even if an occasional highlight-worthy clip is distributed free on Facebook.

Not everyone agrees.

The USGA, Golf’s U.S. governing body, the National Hockey League and the PGA Tour are among those who ban live streaming by fans from events.

But, the organizations themselves are taking note and, in many cases, taking video – live and edited – to further their appeal among fans.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn