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Facebook To Only Stream 6 MLB Games in 2019

“Last year’s streams brought in 123 million views over the 25 games with an average viewership 20 years younger than the usual MLB television audience.”

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Facebook and the MLB’s streaming relationship will be drastically different for the 2019 season following a contract renewal Friday. Facebook exclusively streamed 26 games last season but will have just six non-exclusive games, one per month, for the 2019 campaign.

“Collaborating with Facebook will again drive the creation of new ways for us to deliver content to baseball fans that engage on the platform daily,” said MLB executive vice president of global media Chris Tully. ”Facebook provides a community-focused environment that will allow for fans to connect with their favourite teams via custom on-demand content and live game action driven by an original MLB Network social-first broadcast production.”

All six games will air live, available for free to a global audience on Facebook Watch, with limitations to blackout rules and certain international markets.

Last year’s presentation disgruntled MLB.TV customers who were forced to watch on Facebook Watch for the select games. Those fans often had to deal with performance issues and unsavory spam bots, which may speak to the revision for this deal.

According to Morning Consult, Facebook is giving MLB the freedom to sell a sponsorship against the livestreamed broadcasts where the league would take in 100% of the revenue.

Though there have been hiccups in the relationship so far, one success the partnership has seen is a younger audience taking advantage of the live stream since Facebook and the MLB came together in 2017 for 20 games.

“We look forward to testing a new model for live games, which should help the league continue to reach a younger and more global audience,” said Rob Shaw, Facebook’s sports partnerships lead for leagues and media.

Last year’s streams brought in 123 million views over the 25 games with an average viewership 20 years younger than the usual MLB television audience. Both Facebook and the MLB considered 2018 a success thanks to those numbers considering the $30 million renewal for that season.

The financial figures haven’t been released for this season’s deal yet. Though after calling 2018 a success both parties seem to be happy with each other and are using 2019 to work out the kinks.

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Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit Featured As Commentary Team for ‘NCAA Football 25’

“I’m so excited to FINALLY announce that I’m part of @EASPORTSCollege
. I’m proud to be a partner and one of the voices of the game once again.”

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An image of Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler
Courtesy: Sports Illustrated

NCAA Football fans rejoice — NCAA Football 25 will feature ESPN’s Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit. Fowler will be making his first appearance in the game while Herbstreit will be doing it for the 14th time. The pair confirmed the news today via their X accounts:

The pair were finally able to reveal their involvement as more news came out about the game starting today. Multiple news items about the game were reported, including the participation of all 134 Division I football programs, and that college football players could opt into the game for NIL purposes. According to The Athletic’s Chris Vannini, players will receive $600 and a free copy of the game for opting in. Those who fail to opt in will be replaced by a generic avatar.

Following the initial news, Front Office Sports revealed more names attached to NCAA Football 25 — Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, Kevin Connors, and David Pollack. All but Pollack, who was laid off from the company in June, are ESPN employees.

The last NCAA Football game was released in 2013 and started the conversation of whether players should be paid for their participation. EA Sports then stopped putting out versions of the game, despite critical and commercial success. Fan projects like College Football Revamped strived to bring the game into modern times — but now it’s no longer needed. College Football 25 will be revealed in earnest this May, with a release date slated for the summer.

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Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks to Launch New Podcast

“This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world.”

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Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks podcast logo
Courtesy: Two Personal Podcast

Fox Sports 1’s Joy Taylor and Thursday Night Football’s Taylor Rooks are teaming up for a new podcast, Two Personal, which will debut on March 6. The description of the new content says it will take on subjects beyond the world of sports such as mental health, discrmination and other social issues. The two friends plan to share things they would normally talk about only in private.

“Joy [Taylor] and I have navigated our careers together as sisters in sport, but Two Personal allows us to expand and share our private thoughts and conversations with our listeners,” said Rooks. “This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world. There is infinitely more to us than what we have allowed the public to see, and I’m thrilled to be in a place where I feel ready to bare my full self and give an honest look into who I am completely.”

“I am so excited to launch Two Personal with Taylor [Rooks]” Joy Taylor said. “We have spent our careers in sports and now have created an opportunity to show a different side of ourselves. The authentic, raw and exposing side of our experiences and personalities outside of sports. We can’t wait to bring our girl talk to the world!”

The podcast is scheduled to drop a new episode each Wednesday on YouTube and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Report: Amazon Prime Video Paying $120M to Stream NFL Playoff Game

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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Amazon Prime Video Logo

The Wall Street Journal is reporting Amazon and the NFL have reached agreement on a $120 million deal for Prime Video to have exclusive rights to stream an NFL playoff game at the end of the 2024 season.

Amazon had passed on the opportunity to air the game this past season. It subsequently aired on Peacock in a deal which was valued at $110 million. The AFC Wild Card round matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs made sports media history, garnering an average minute audience (AMA) of 23.0 million viewers, making the contest the most-streamed live event in the history of the United States.

NBCUniversal also revealed that the contest reached 27.6 million total viewers and peaked at an average of 24.6 million viewers during the second quarter. Engagement with the playoff game accounted for the largest internet event in history with 30% of internet traffic prioritizing the game at this time.

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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