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Facebook seals partnership deals in Australia with NRL, AFL and Cricket body

Social media giant Facebook has sealed global content partnership agreements in Australia with rugby, Aussie Rules and cricket rights-holders, it said on Wednesday.

Under the deals, the National Rugby League, Australian Football League and Cricket Australia will showcase a range of content on the social media company’s video platform, Facebook Watch.

NRL will broadcast match highlights, weekly wrap-up shows, and archival content, while AFL will show highlights from men’s and women’s matches, weekly studio and all-access shows as well as archival content. Cricket Australia will show highlights from men’s and women’s matches.

Facebook’s partnership deals with rights-holders are distinct from traditional media rights deals in that they are designed to help sports brands build value by using Facebook’s infrastructure. Rights-holders earn advertising and sponsorship revenues from their videos.

The social-media company has signed several such deals in recent months, including with the International Cricket Council, the South American football confederation and basketball’s NBA.

Earlier this month, the chief executive of commercial broadcaster Nine said social media companies Facebook and Twitter and technology giant Google are unlikely to challenge traditional broadcasters in bidding for major sports rights in Australia.