Facebook has announced that it's expanding its Watch Party feature to allow users to host viewing parties for live television shows, starting with sporting events.
Previously, it was only possible to share online videos, but the new feature is now being tested worldwide in Facebook Groups during events like UEFA Champions League matches.
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Facebook says that the new Watch Party feature will give sports fans the chance to “cheer, debate and commiserate on Facebook while watching their favorite match-up.”
Facebook explained how it works in a blog post, saying: “When you start a Watch Party, you’ll see a new option called “on TV,” where you can select the live game.”
“From there, the Watch Party will feature the live game score as you discuss and react in real time alongside other fans.”
According to the blog post, Facebook will also be testing “interactive tools”, like “the ability for hosts to add trivia questions about player stats, or fun facts, and live polls around which team will win.”
If all goes well with these sporting event tests, it sounds as though other types of live TV show could also be broadcasted in Facebook Groups via Watch Party, with Facebook saying that it “can't wait to bring it to all kinds of live events and cultural moments, from awards shows to highly anticipated show premieres and more.”
If there are no restrictions on watching certain events from different territories, the new feature could be a good way to watch sporting events without having to pay for subscription sports channels like BT Sport.