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World Surf League (WSL) to Broadcast Full 2017 Season via Facebook Live

LOS ANGELES, California/USA (Tuesday, March 7, 2017) - The World Surf League (WSL) today announced a landmark collaboration with Facebook to broadcast all elite 2017 Championship Tour men's and women's events and Big Wave Tour (BWT) events via Facebook Live. Fans can watch the action in real-time on the World Surf League Facebook Page.

"We're excited for the World Surf League to deliver its full season of live events to a global audience on Facebook," Dan Reed, Facebook Head of Global Sports Partnerships, said. "Thanks to its innovative video strategy, highlighted by a consistent and creative use of Facebook Live, the WSL has built a highly-engaged community of fans on the platform. Enabling these fans to watch the Championship Tour together is yet another example of the league's forward-thinking Facebook approach. Because these events begin whenever the waves roll in, broadcast schedules can be unpredictable. However, on Facebook, the WSL can quickly reach fans as soon as a competition starts, ensuring that people can enjoy surfing's biggest moments whenever they happen."

By broadcasting events live on Facebook, the WSL will continue to expand the reach of its content to a global community of surf fans and experiment with interactive, social and mobile-first productions.

"The WSL is excited to partner with Facebook to bring over 800 hours of premier live event content to the platform in 2017," Tim Greenberg, WSL Chief Community Officer, said. "As a truly digital-first League, streaming the entirety of our season on Facebook speaks to the pioneering nature of our sport. With Facebook's scale, we can better serve even more fans by bringing the magic and drama of professional surfing directly to their feeds. It's an incredible opportunity to be at the forefront of sports media distribution."

Today's announcement is the latest iteration of the WSL's innovative approach to Facebook Live and the social media platform.

"One of my favorite things about surfing is that it's always evolving - the equipment, the approach, the progression," Jordy Smith, WSL Title Contender, said. "It's great to know that this evolution isn't limited to the water. Facebook is such a special place for different cultures to connect and now the evolution of surf will be shared beyond coastlines. It's very cool to see the WSL at the vanguard of global sport and technology properties in interacting with fans. Looking forward to a great year, although I just got a bit more nervous thinking about a few more million people watching my heats."

Smith joins the likes of Kelly Slater (USA), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Mick Fanning (AUS), Carissa Moore (HAW), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Tyler Wright (AUS), John John Florence (HAW) and the rest of the world's best surfers as they vie for the coveted 2017 WSL Men's and Women's Titles.

The world's best surfers will kick off the 2017 WSL Championship Tour season in Australia for the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast from March 14 - 25, 2017.

2017 Men's Championship Tour Schedule:
March 14 - 25, 2017: Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast
March 29 - April 9, 2017: Drug Aware Margaret River Pro
April 12 - 24, 2017: Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach
May 9 - 20, 2017: Rio Pro
June 4 - 16, 2017: Fiji Pro
July 12 - 23, 2017: Corona J-Bay Open
August 11 - 22, 2017: Billabong Pro Tahiti
September 6 - 17, 2017: Hurley Pro at Trestles
October 7 - 18, 2017: Quiksilver Pro France
October 20 - 31, 2017: MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal
December 8 - 20, 2017: Billabong Pipe Masters

2017 Women's Championship Tour Schedule:
March 14 - 25, 2017: Roxy Pro Gold Coast
March 29 - April 9, 2017: Drug Aware Margaret River Pro
April 12 - 24, 2017: Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach
May 9 - 20: Rio Women's Pro
May 28 - June 2, 2017: Fiji Women's Pro
July 31 - August 6, 2017: Vans US Open of Surfing
September 6 - 17, 2017: Swatch Pro at Trestles
September 27 - October 5, 2017: Cascais Women's Pro
October 7 - 18, 2017: Roxy Pro France
November 25 - December 6, 2017: Maui Women's Pro

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