Real-Time Box Score: Facebook Acquires SportStream

SportStreamNFLFBAnalytics650Last month, SportStream CEO Bob Morgan spoke with AllFacebook about how the provider of real-time sports data planned to use the public feed application-programming interface and keyword insights API introduced by Facebook in September to incorporate its data into live broadcasts of sporting events. The two APIs are no longer the only Facebook resources available to SportStream, as the social network announced its acquisition of the company late Tuesday.

The SportStream team will move to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., from its current offices in San Francisco.

Facebook Vice President of Media Partnerships and Global Operations Justin Osofsky announced the social network’s acquisition of SportStream in a note on the Facebook + Media page:

From the 30 million people in the U.S. talking about the National Football League during opening weekend to Kobe Bryant announcing his return to the Lakers via his Facebook page earlier this month, a spirited conversation about sports is happening on Facebook both in real-time and over the water cooler the day after. We want to help people connect with their passion around sports, and the world more generally. If there is something interesting going on, people are talking about it on Facebook. From favorite television shows to breaking news, these conversations are happening on Facebook.

Through this acquisition, we expect to meaningfully improve the ability for all of our partners to access and utilize the insights from Facebook’s tools and APIs. SportStream’s demonstrated track record of surfacing interesting and engaging content, along with its deep understanding of our products, means that we will be able to build a better experience for the people who use Facebook, and for our partners who depend on us for real-time insights.

We’re excited to continue investing in helping people connect through their shared interests on Facebook. The addition of this new team will enable us to work more closely with media partners as we continue to invest in more robust tools and APIs, as well as the technology partners that have integrated the keyword insights and public feed APIs into their product suites.

And SportStream said in a post on its homepage:

We set out 18 months ago to help fans better connect around all of the best moments in sports. We made it our mission to deliver them the best social content, stats, news, and more around games, favorite teams, and players in real-time. We’ve made significant progress, especially through our relationships with major sports media companies and teams. The tools and services developed by our small team have helped some of the biggest names in sports leverage social media in exciting new ways for their fans. Joining Facebook provides an amazing opportunity for us to greatly expand on our original vision.

Facebook sees the value in our technologies and team, and we’re excited to be a part of its continued investment in its platform. With this next step for SportStream, we’ll have greater resources to continue to do what we do best. We expect to make an impact on the more than 1 billion people who use Facebook, as well as the many valued sports media businesses and professionals, teams, leagues, and players that use Facebook to better connect with fans. At Facebook, we will continue delivering great experiences with our existing partners and actively work with it on transition planning. And we’ll be scaling and further developing tools and resources to help many, many more partners going forward.

Readers: Do you think the acquisition of SportStream is a huge step forward for Facebook in terms of capturing the attention of sports fans?


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