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Facebook MLB Viewership Lower Than Expected

Jason Barrett

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Facebook’s exclusive Major League Baseball broadcasts have been met with a number of unhappy fans who would prefer to watch the game on traditional television. Their first stream of Mets – Phillies during Major League Baseball’s opening week was met with endless complaints of annoying graphics and glitches during the stream. Critics have calmed in the subsequent Facebook broadcasts, but viewership is still lower than expected.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer Facebook’s MLB broadcasts have averaged between 65,000 and 85,000 concurrent viewers through their first three streams of the season. The Philadelphia Inquirer also reported the Royals and Blue Jays garnered 6.8 million global views, which is measured as a viewer who checks into the game for at least three seconds.

As Awful Announcing notes, a divisional game presented exclusively as a national broadcast should attract several hundred thousand viewers, not 65,000. However, national games are never broadcast on a Wednesday afternoon, making it harder to judge what Facebook’s number should be. Last season, in terms of national MLB broadcasts, FOX averaged 2.05 million viewers during their regular season broadcasts and 448,000 for FS1 telecasts.

A linear network would garner an audience larger than Facebook’s 65,000 – 80,000, but a midday telecast during the week would certainly fall short of their weekend numbers. One of Facebook’s selling points is the ability for someone at work to watch the game when they don’t have access to a television. Since Facebook holds exclusive rights, there are no blackout restrictions.

6.8 million global views, even if only for three seconds, appears impressive and shows there’s a larger audience available for Facebook and Major League Baseball to tap into. It’s difficult to judge how many of those views were made with intent, similar to the amount of people that channel surf, scrolling through FOX to get to another network. People will click something they see on Facebook without knowing what it is or having any intention of staying on the page.

6.8 million global views also does not mean 6.8 million different viewers, between my phone and desktop, I clicked in and out of the Mets – Phillies game at least a dozen times during the course of the three hour stream.

Facebook will broadcast a total of 25 games this year, costing them a little more than $1 million per game, totaling between $30 and $35 million for the season. Although Amazon’s Thursday Night Football streaming deal is not exclusive, they spent $4.5 million per game last season and averaged 310,000 viewers. With those numbers, both Amazon and Facebook have spent approximately $14 per viewer.

Both partnerships include other aspects and perks, its value does not come down to only viewership, but $14 per viewer is significantly more than any television network pays for their broadcast rights fees.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

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‘NFL Total Access’ Comes to an End After 21 Years on NFL Network

“Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network.”

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‘NFL Total Access’ has been a part of the NFL Network since 2003 and today it is set for its final episode. The news of the show coming to an end came down earlier this month. Many of the current show participants took to social media to post their thoughts including hosts Mike Yam and Kimmi Chex along with analyst Chase Daniel.

“Tonight marks the last ever episode of NFL Total Access,” said Chex. “I was 7 years old when this show aired meaning that I spent my life watching. Co-hosting our flagship program this past season has been the honor of my career. I’m not going anywhere but for now, it’s goodbye TA.”

Yam said, “It’s been an absolute thrill hosting NFL Total Access. Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network. “Thank you” isn’t nearly enough to express the gratitude I have for the team. See you at 7est for 1 more run.”

A report from The Athletic said the show would be replaced “at least in the interim” by Insiders with Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero.

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NBCUniversal Names Olympic Hosts for USA, CNBC and E!; Kathryn Tappen Headlines

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games.”

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NBC Olympics Logo and photos of Cara Banks, Laura Britt, Trenni Casey, Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno, and Kathryn Tappen

NBCUniversal announced its hosts for coverage of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 on USA Network, CNBC and E! Cara Banks, Laura Britt and Trenni Casey will all be a part of the coverage on CNBC and E! Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno and Kathryn Tappen will all take part in the USA Network coverage.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics is Friday, July 26 on NBC, Peacock, and Telemundo.

Coverage on USA Network, CNBC, and E! is expected to include Team USA men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, and volleyball, as well as swimming, gymnastics, and track & field, and more.

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games,” said Rebecca Chatman, Vice President and Coordinating Producer, NBC Olympics Production in a release.

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Mike Tirico, Danica Patrick Return to Host Indy 500 for NBC Sports

Seven-time NASCAR Series champion Jimmie Johnson will join NBC’s pre-race and race coverage. When his broadcasting duties are completed, Johnson will be flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to drive in the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

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Logos for Indy 500, NBC Sports and photos of Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick
Photos Courtesy: NBC Sports

With less than two weeks until the event, NBC Sports has officially announced its team of race and studio commentators for the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500. For the sixth year in a row, we can expect to see familiar faces such as host Mike Tirico and studio analyst Danica Patrick contributing to pre-race, in-race, and post-race coverage.

The race will air at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 26, on both NBC and Peacock.

Seven-time NASCAR Series champion Jimmie Johnson will join NBC’s pre-race and race coverage. When his broadcasting duties are completed, Johnson will be flying to Charlotte Motor Speedway to drive in the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and James Hinchcliffe will call the race for the sixth consecutive year. Marty Snider, Dillon Welch, Dave Burns, and Kevin Lee will serve as pit reporters. Former NASCAR driver Jeff Burton and Kim Coon will serve as roaming reporters.

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