Social Media giant Facebook has further strengthened its executive team. There is no doubt that the company is aiming to be a global leader in living streaming of sports events. Hence, Facebook has hired Peter Hutton, CEO of Eurosport – a TV network channel owned by Discovery. Hutton will spearhead the discussions for streaming of worldwide live sports events.
Going one step down in the corporate ladder, Hutton will be operating from Facebook’s head quarters in Silicon Valley. He will be reporting to the Dan Reed, who is Facebook’s Global Sports Partnership leader. Hutton will official take up the new role immediately after the completion of Winter Olympics in February.
Hutton did not make any specific comments on the new assignment and he said that he was “absolutely focused in delivering the best Olympic Games possible.”
Even though there is not clarity on the details of Hutton’s role and how is he going to work on this initiative, this seems to be a huge win for Facebook. The company has successfully convinced a chief of a major TV Network to join them at a lower profile; and Hutton being a veteran in the sports rights world brings in huge experience which the social media company can easily leverage upon. Hutton used to co-run a sports rights agency by the name of MP & Silva and he also helped Fox Sports launch in the Americas. After joining Eurosport, he took their live streaming business to a different level by expanding this service to 52 new markets.
Facebook has not been that successful in live streaming of matches. Though it did bag rights for Champions League Matches and weekly MLB games, but it has also lost some good deals in this process. One such loss was the Indian Premier League cricket rights. Having Hutton in their team will definitely help them get these huge transactions and changing the perspective that people carry about Facebook being just a bit player in sports broadcasting. Now, they have a person who knows how to negotiate for rights and drive the business of live sports streaming.