Andy Murray, the three-time Grand Slam, two-time Olympic champion and current Wimbledon champion, became the first tennis star to stream a major match live on Facebook.
The live stream of Andy Murray’s charity event, Andy Murray Live, which was managed by online video production and distribution platform Grabyo, shortlisted for the BT Sport Industry Awards 2016, saw over a million people viewing the stream on Facebook Live.
Murray played a three-set match against Grigor Dimitrov, before teaming up with his brother Jamie in a doubles match against Dimitrov and Tim Henman, in what will become an annual charity event in Scotland.
10,000 people watched the game in the stands at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow and Sky Sports also broadcast the event live on TV to those in UK and Ireland, in addition to the live streaming.
Facebook Live allows users to broadcast live video streams onto the platform, with streams appearing in the News Feed. Live broadcasts are automatically saved as a video post to the streamer's page.
“We made the decision to stream the Andy Murray Live event live on Facebook so that Andy’s fans worldwide would have the opportunity to engage with the event. We are also interested in driving innovation around the event and Andy’s social media channels and viewed this as a good platform to do that,” commented Matt Gentry at 77 Group. “By using Grabyo we were able to ensure there were no problems with the quality or performance of the live stream and the level of engagement was impressive.”
Gareth Capon, CEO at Grabyo. “Facebook Live is proving to be a highly effective way of engaging global digital audiences and we’re seeing huge interest from a whole variety of rights holders all over the world.
“We’ve enjoyed helping Andy Murray break new ground in this first for a major tennis match and we look forward to working with other tennis rights holders to capitalise on this exciting new live channel. Global sports stars have a direct connection with their audience on Facebook which makes them a valuable channel for content distribution.”
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