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World Surf League answers criticism over Facebook partnership

The World Surf League has moved to apologise to fans following complaints concerning Facebook’s coverage of its events.

In January, the social media platform signed an exclusive two-year digital partnership with the WSL which has now swung into action.

Under the agreement, Facebook is showing live coverage of the league’s events, including all elite men’s and women’s Championship Tour events, the Qualifying Series 10,000 and Big Wave Tour events, as well as the World Junior Championships.

Last year, Facebook had a non-exclusive agreement with the league, with Championship Tour and Big Wave Tour events being simulcast on the social media website and through the WSL’s official website and mobile app.

The ongoing Corona Open J-Bay event in South Africa has seen multiple complaints from fans regarding the service provided by Facebook. The WSL said it is working on the issues with Facebook, specifying certain remedies that are already being undertaken.

The WSL said it has fixed the broadcasting issue experienced during the early rounds of the Corona Open J-Bay. The League is now offering the live stream on its desktop site, with adjacent round information and heat scores, without having to login to Facebook.

All heat replays can be viewed by navigating to the WSL’s event detail page, while the Heat Analyzer service has also been activated.

The WSL said in a statement: “Our switch to Facebook was to enable the entirety of our audience to continue to view each event for free, and also to further expand our fan base throughout the world.

“That being said, we apologise for any issues you may have experienced during our transition over the last two days and we hope you continue to enjoy the Corona Open J-Bay.”