Starting this spring, Facebook is going to start streaming Major League Baseball games. Well, 25 games to be exact, starting on April 4th in a matchup between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. This isn’t really news as the platform started live streaming baseball games back in May of 2017, but this will be the first time that a US major league has granted a social network the sole rights to broadcast games. It’s the exclusivity that makes this such an interesting deal. Only Facebook is able to stream the content. If you are an MLB.TV subscriber, you’re out of luck.
You can watch the games on the MLB Live show page on Facebook Watch, which will be available globally, except for some “select international markets”. Each game will air in the afternoon – 1 or 4 pm, so no prime time games as of yet. This will also be the MLB’s first digital-only broadcasts. The good news? Every team is on board. All 30 major league clubs have unanimously approved the deal. This in itself is kind of incredible. But it speaks to the way that we now consume media.
I have been saying this for months – we don’t consume media in the same way that we used to. In the old days, we used to turn the TV on at 1 pm and we would tune into that game. But we don’t do that anymore. A lot more people have cut the traditional cable cord, but are still wanting to watch sporting events. And you can’t blame them. Let’s say you’re a football fan. And only a football fan. You spend a ton of money every month, but you only watch football for what – 3 or 4 months? That’s college and NFL combined. It doesn’t seem worth it. Sure, if you’re a hardcore sports fan then you maybe it’s worth the cost. But this is also a smart move on Facebook’s part.
In general, we are seeing media being cut up and available a la carte. And I think for a long time, that’s what we wanted. But now I think we are moving too far in the opposite direction. Now everything is being offered a la carte, and in some cases, it’s going to end up costing you a lot of money. $10 here for Netflix, HBO Go or Amazon Prime, and before you know it, you’re spending just as much as you would on regular cable. That said, this is a great thing for Facebook. This will bring more people to the platform (legitimately) and could increase their number of subscriptions.
For example – I do not have a Facebook account, but if I were interested in baseball, I might consider getting one – if for nothing else than to watch these games. If Facebook (and Twitter) can continue to make these kinds of offerings they are going to see an increase in subscribers for sure. And that’s the goal right – to increase the number of Daily Active Users. Because the way we consume media is changing, they have to be smart and proactive about what they’re doing to engage people, and I think this is a good move on Facebook’s part.Continue reading →
Are you ready for some football? The season is over, so you’re probably wondering what I’m saying. Amazon’s sports documentary series All or Nothing is coming back in April for a third season. This time, it’s going to follow the Dallas Cowboys. The first and second season followed the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams. The premise of the show is to take viewers inside the locker room, on the sidelines, and off the field for an unprecedented look at an NFL franchise’s complete season. Football is one popular sport so I can only imagine that this series is bringing in a lot of viewers.
This season kicks off with a handful of positive notes including – owner Jerry Jones being elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as well as head coach Jason Garrett becoming the 2016 NFL Coach of the Year. In general, there hasn’t been a lot of good news in the NFL, and it’s no different for the Cowboys. During the 2017 series, the league suspended running back Ezekiel Elliot for six games after an investigation into allegations of repeated instances of domestic violence. If you followed that situation at all, you will remember that the league put the decision on hold multiple times.
The Cowboys were also put into the spotlight over their response to NFL players “taking a knee” during the national anthem. As we know, the Cowboys didn’t make it very far this season. So is that the reason that Amazon picked them for the third season? My guess is that they picked them prior to knowing that any of these things would happen, but they picked a great team in terms of drama, don’t you think? I do wonder, though, if this is going to bring more attention to domestic abuse, or make the situation worse? Meaning, is this going to exacerbate the issue for the victim, or will this allow people to start coming forward about the abuse they’ve been subjected to?
My initial thought about this series is that they’re going to want to get a team that does have some kind of drama surrounding it. But then I changed my mind. The whole idea of the sport is that there is some level of drama on the field. Maybe that’s an over-generalization about sports, but no matter what game you are watching, there is a level of uncertainty of who is going to win. Having a camera crew watching the players on the sidelines almost makes it more dramatic because you get invested in the “story”. You get invested in the players and the outcome of the game. Will they make the playoffs? Will their quarterback throw out his shoulder? Or will their best running back blow out a knee?
If you haven’t watched the first two seasons, there is time to catch up. You have to be an Amazon Prime Member though. But this is a great reason to become one, isn’t it? I mean, this and the free expedited shipping. All or Nothing: The Dallas Cowboys will be narrated by Jon Hamm, and will be available to stream on Prime starting April 27th.Continue reading →