Facebook hunts live sports partnerships exec to lead on rights deals in Europe

Facebook is looking for a sports executive to oversee a push into live sports programming amid speculation it will bid for Premier League football streaming rights this year.

Facebook hunts live sports partnerships exec to lead on rights deals in Europe

The social media giant is looking for a "live sports partnerships and programming" executive for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, where football commands multi-billion-pound rights deals for the Premier League and Uefa Champions League competitions.

The person will "lead EMEA sports video partnership efforts with an emphasis on live sports events and original content", as well as "develop and maintain strong relationships with a broad range of EMEA sports rights holders and broadcasters". 

Facebook is planning to bring more live games from a variety of sports to fans through Facebook Watch, its new platform for video.

Last week Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward told investors he expects Facebook and Amazon to "enter the mix" when the Premier League TV rights come up for new bids later this year.

In March Facebook paid for rights to stream live Major League Soccer games from the US on its platform, and then in June signed a deal with Fox to stream selected Champions League matches through a partnership with Fox Sports. 

Meanwhile, Amazon agreed a £37m deal to live-stream Thursday night NFL games in April and is due to stream its first match tonight in the US.