Sky Bowing OTT Video Service Featuring NBA, NFL Games — Including Super Bowl LIII

Comcast-owned Sky in January is launching an over-the-top video service in the United Kingdom showcasing 40 games from the NBA and NFL – including Super Bowl LIII, Feb. 3, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Dubbed Sky Sports USA, the service will be offered from Jan. 3 through Feb. 5 as part of Sky’s £18 monthly Sky Sports subscription, or from £7.99 daily via the broadband-specific Now TV Sports pass.

Sky Sports USA will feature every NFL game through the playoffs. On the hardwood, U.K. subs can stream NBA’s annual London game, featuring the Washington Wizards against the New York Knicks on Jan. 17. On Jan. 21, the league marks Martin Luther King Jr. Day with three games, headlined by the Memphis Grizzlies.

“Every year, the NFL and NBA London games sell out in a matter of minutes and every year the following for both sports in the U.K. gets bigger,” Barney Francis, managing director, Sky Sports, said in a statement.

“It’s a perfect time to launch a pop-up channel to make sure our customers get the very best of American sports.”

 

 

Ampere: Facebook Video Losing Traction Among Users

Despite a monthly global users base around 2 billion, Facebook users aren’t streaming much video, according to new data from Ampere Analysis.

The London-based research firm found that video streaming among Facebook users in the United States dropped to less than a quarter (23.7%) in the third quarter of 2018, compared to 35.5% in Q3 2016.

The social media platform also saw streaming video usage declines in Italy (down 6.7%) and Denmark (6%). In the U.K., which has seen ongoing video declines on Facebook since Q3 2017, reported a 1.6% uptick.

Google-owned YouTube remains the No. 1 (68.3% usage) video platform in the world catering to an endless supply of third-party user-generated content, in addition to commercial product. No. 2 is Netflix (35.4%), followed by Facebook, Instagram (17.8%) and Amazon ranked fifth with 11.7%.

“The apparent declining engagement with Facebook video is potentially symptomatic of some of the wider challenges Facebook is facing engaging younger audiences at the moment, and the impacts of the negative press surrounding the use of Facebook data in political campaign targeting,” Richard Broughton, director at Ampere Analysis, said in a statement.

“Nonetheless, video remains a priority for Facebook’s growth strategy, and recent investments in new video ad formats, as well as partnerships in the sports sector, highlight the forward-looking efforts that the social media giant is putting in to expanding this part of its business.”

Indeed, on-demand video service Facebook Watch launched Aug. 10, 2017 featuring ad-supported original and third-party content.

The service Oct. 16 bowed a new series from Whistle Sports, whose investors include NBC Sports and Sky Sports, dubbed “Famous Los and Filayyyy Show,” and featuring the two Instagram stars offering colorful insight on sports.

Other original Watch content includes “Bad Jokes,” “Whistle Worthy,” “The Loop,” “No Days Off,” and “Courtyard: Unstoppable.”