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Baseball Is Just The Beginning: Expect Facebook To Go After More Sports To Grow Video Segment

Brett Hershman

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) is doubling down on live streaming after introducing several new video features within the past few weeks, including autoplay of news feed videos, a larger format for vertical videos, picture-in-picture video and a Facebook video app for TV.

Facebook And Monetization

Last week, Facebook also introduced new monetization capabilities intended to boost ad revenues and attract more publishers to the platform. The company will reportedly offer publishers 55 percent of ad revenue generated, the same metrics as video ad leader Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) YouTube.

Related Link: Facebook Wants You To Spend More Time On Facebook By Watching Baseball

Bringing The Diamond Into Your Den

The social media company is also in talks with the MLB to stream one game per week during the upcoming season. Analysts at Loop Capital expect the company to be more aggressive in acquiring sports and other content. The company previously lost out to Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) to live stream Thursday Night Football games last season.

“The company is investing aggressively in its video strategy in 2017 and it should help offset overall slowing growth and we expect the company to be able to beat and raise through 2017,” said Blake Harper of Loop Capital.

Facebook has also reached an agreement to stream 46 matches of the Mexican soccer league, Liga MX, this year.

Loop capital reiterated a Buy rating on Facebook with a $175 price target.

“We have confidence the company can grow revenue 35 percent in 2017 with Instagram and video contributing a larger share,” Harper said. “We believe FB is undervalued given its long-term potential.”

Latest Ratings for FB

Date Firm Action From To
Feb 2017 Pivotal Research Downgrades Buy Hold
Jan 2017 Pacific Crest Reinstates Overweight
Jan 2017 Raymond James Upgrades Outperform Strong Buy

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