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Facebook Acquires Exclusive Rights to 47 College Basketball Games From Smaller Conferences

Facebook, stirring more sports into its live-video stew, will be the exclusive home to 47 college basketball games for the 2017-18 season, which it will stream for free. A lot of the matchups, though, are between teams that aren’t coveted by national TV sports networks.

Facebook struck the deal with sports-media venture Stadium, which will distribute the games on Facebook, featuring matchups from conferences including Mountain West, West Coast Conference, Conference USA, and the Atlantic 10. The games are available globally via the Live: Stadium College Basketball show page, but only people in the U.S. will be able to watch them within Facebook’s Watch tab (as Watch is only available in the U.S.).

To tailor the broadcasts for Facebook, Stadium’s on-air talent team will address fan comments and questions throughout the live games, among other coordinated production assets and social elements. Stadium has already broadcast two games (Vanderbilt vs. Belmont on Nov. 13 and Florida A&M vs. UNLV on Nov. 11). The games will be available to watch on-demand after the broadcasts.

In addition, Stadium will produce an exclusive weekly live studio show dedicated to college basketball, with highlights, social video and photos, commentary and analysis. The 30-minute show will air on the Live: Stadium College Basketball page every Wednesday evening beginning Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. ET, hosted by Stadium’s Dave Ross with basketball analyst Tim Doyle.

Chicago-based Stadium is a joint venture owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, MLB Advanced Media, the NHL, the PGA TOUR, Time Inc. and Silver Chalice.

The schedule of games includes several teams that competed in the 2017 NCAA March Madness Tournament, including Dayton, Saint Mary’s, Middle Tennessee State, Nevada, Florida Gulf Coast, Wake Forest, Rhode Island, U.C. Davis, VCU, Minnesota and New Mexico State. It also includes teams from schools such as Pittsburgh, UNLV, Utah, Washington State, Ole Miss, Memphis, George Washington, and UMass.

The deal comes on the heels of Stadium’s pact with Facebook to exclusively live-stream 15 college football games this season, similarly from smaller schools.

In addition to the Facebook-only games, Stadium will stream additional college basketball games across platforms including WatchStadium.com, the Stadium iOS and tvOS apps, Stadium Android app, Twitter (at @WatchStadium) and on Pluto TV.

Here’s the full schedule of the Facebook-exclusive (all times ET):

11/16/2017 — Belmont at Middle Tennessee (7:30 PM)
11/19/2017 — Saint Mary’s at San Jose State (8 PM)
11/21/2017 — Florida Gulf Coast at Middle Tennessee (7:30 PM)
11/24/2017 — Minnesota vs UMass (12 PM)
11/24/2017 — Alabama vs BYU (2:30 PM)
11/25/2017 — BYU vs UMass (2 PM)
11/25/2017 — Minnesota vs Alabama (5 PM)
11/25/2017 — Southern Utah at UNLV (10 PM)
11/28/2017 — Brown at Rhode Island (7 PM)
11/28/2017 — Davidson at Charlotte (7 PM)
11/29/2017 — EKU at WKU (8 PM)
11/29/2017 — Illinois State at Nevada (10 PM)
11/30/2017 — Memphis at UAB (8 PM)
11/30/2017 — New Mexico State at UTEP (10 PM)
12/1/2017 — Pittsburgh vs. Duquesne (7 PM)
12/3/2017 — Bradley at San Diego State (6 PM)
12/5/2017 — Wake Forest at Charlotte (7 PM)
12/9/2017 — Mississippi at Middle Tennessee (6 PM)
12/9/2017 — Washington State at UTEP (9 PM)
12/19/2017 — UC Davis at Nevada (10 PM)
12/22/2017 — Northern Colorado at UNLV (10 PM)
12/23/2017 — Harvard at George Washington (12 PM)
12/30/2017 — Middle Tennessee at UAB (5 PM)
1/4/2018 — Pacific at Saint Mary’s (10 PM)
1/9/2018 — Dayton at Richmond (7 PM)
1/10/2018 — Wyoming at New Mexico (9 PM)
1/17/2018 — Richmond at VCU (7 PM)
1/17/2018 — Utah State at Boise State (9 PM)
1/20/2018 — Saint Louis at UMass (2 PM)
1/20/2018 — Saint Mary’s at Pacific (10 PM)
1/24/2018 — Rhode Island at Fordham (7 PM)
1/27/2018 — UTEP at Middle Tennessee (7 PM)
1/31/2018 — La Salle at Davidson (7 PM)
2/1/2018 — Middle Tennessee at ODU (8 PM)
2/8/2018 — Saint Mary’s at Loyola Marymount (10 PM)
2/10/2018 — ODU at LA Tech (7 PM)
2/17/2018 — Middle Tennessee at LA Tech (7 PM)
2/21/2018 — Duquense at St. Bonaventure (7 PM)
2/22/2018 — LA Tech at UTEP (9 PM)
2/22/2018 — Pepperdine at Saint Mary’s (10 PM)
2/24/2018 — UAB at Middle Tennessee (7 PM)
3/3/2018 — La Salle at Saint Joseph’s (2 PM)
3/7/2018 — MW MBB 1st round – #8 vs. #9 (2 PM)
3/7/2018 MW MBB 1st round – #7 vs. #10 (4:30 PM)
3/7/2018 MW MBB 1st round – #6 vs. #11 (7 PM)
3/8/2018 C-USA MBB Quarterfinal Game (7:30 PM)
3/8/2018 C-USA MBB Quarterfinal Game (10 PM)

Pictured above: Florida A&M vs. UNLV on Nov. 11 on Live: Stadium College Basketball on Facebook

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