Stab Magazine | Facebook Owns The Exclusive Rights To WSL's Live Events

Facebook Owns The Exclusive Rights To WSL’s Live Events

Zuckerberg, Sandberg and Co. have locked down two years of floating hearts and thumbs. 

news // Jan 25, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

For the next two years, Zuckerberg, Sandberg and Co. own the exclusive rights to the WSL’s live stream.

In the press release, this deal is called “historic.”


Let’s take a look at recent history:

The NFL’s rights to “Thursday Night Football” are up for grabs. To which, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and Google’s YouTube all submitted hopeful proposals. As traditional television slowly bleeds out, the four richest tech companies in the world are looking to tear apart its corpse.

Companies partner with a Google or a Facebook because it makes them feel warm, tingly and important. They’re typically sold on mutual benefits – the ability to mainline their audience. Last year, via Facebook’s WSL live streams, there were 13 million viewers over 12 events.

This year, with the completely exclusive to Facebook play, the WSL must have made out with a healthy check. 

So, while Facebook is hot to trot with the NFL’s exclusive rights to “Thursday Night Football,” this appears to be a slick sideplay, and a chance for the WSL to show what they can do.

After all, nothing is as valuable as exclusive content in today’s media market.

Now, instead of slapping into your browser to watch the women, men—the longboards, the Queys, the big waves, the small waves—and hear the silk lace of Joey Turpel’s voice, all you’ll need to do is log into your Facebook, head to the WSL’s page and watch.

“Facebook fosters a global community and, as surfing is a sport that celebrates and centers around community, we are proud to announce our media rights partnership with the platform,” the wonderfully British WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. “This is game-changing for the sport in many ways and, with current and new fans front of mind, we can retain the free offering to fans, and it allows us to deliver the world’s best surfing to even more people on Facebook’s platform.”

Is this offensive? Does it matter? Will your viewing experience be lessened by floating hearts and thumbs-ups across the live-stream screen? Will it overflow with digital love for waves akin to Seabass’ North Point tube or John John’s decimation of the tapered avalanche that was Margie’s Main Break in 2017?

If you spend your office days live-streaming CT events on the WSL’s site and your office blocks Facebook, you may be pretty upset. And, if you avoid social media altogether, in order to watch said event, you’ll have to plug in your electronic mail address, your personal information and join. 

You can head to WSL’s Instagram to join the live debate in their comment section. 

Facebook continues making moves to take over all platforms, from advertising and live-streaming, to #fakenews or that cat breading meme your Grandma just found.

It’s a digital world… We’re just living in it. Now, officially and exclusively, so is professional surfing.  


For those poor saps who don’t know a thing about cat breading.


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