OTT & Digital

Eleven Sports launches Skype-style social viewing experience

Watch Together allows up to five fans to watch live sport together in an online ‘room’.

by Sam Carp

Eleven Sports launches Skype-style social viewing experience

Multinational broadcaster Eleven Sports has announced the launch of an innovative new viewing feature that will allow fans in its over-the-top (OTT) markets to watch live action together in the same online space at the same time.

Watch Together, which Eleven says represents a world first for the sports market, will enable subscribers to create a ‘room’ and invite up to four fans to watch the same live sports event with them. As many as five viewers will then be able to see, hear and talk while watching the live broadcast as if they were together in a living room.

The product, which was designed by tech start-up Reactoo, is set to be rolled out through Chrome and Firefox with an initial trial period over the coming weeks. Subscribers can use the service at no extra cost and can invite others to their online room by sharing a link by text, WhatsApp, email or on social media.

“Live sport is special because of the raw emotions that are attached to it,” said Tom Middleditch, global head of digital at Eleven. “Watch Together enables fans to share these emotions and debate every decision, kick, tackle or punch, wherever they are.

“Watch Together will help to drive engagement in the live event by encouraging active, as opposed to passive viewing habits. Currently fans debate talking points on text or social media while watching a match or fight passively, but our inventive new product will enable in-person interaction while remaining fully immersed in the action.”

Eleven has a wide portfolio of rights including the Uefa Champions League, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Formula One, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and esports.

The company currently operates an OTT offering in markets such as the UK and Ireland, Italy, and Belgium and Luxembourg.