MLB and Facebook have partnered up to broadcast Friday night games throughout the season. But is it the best move for the league to help grow the game?
Early yesterday morning, Major League Baseball announced a deal with Facebook that will broadcast 20 Friday night games during the 2017 season from MLB’s Facebook page. Anyone on Facebook in the United States can watch for free. Local networks will film these games on site per usual and then they will be broadcast to Facebook.
MLB has an agreement with Facebook that will allow Facebook to broadcast a game every Friday, with no blackouts. Starts this Friday.
The first game to be broadcast is tonight at 7:10 pm ET between the Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds.
This is actually a very good partnership for both sides; however, it is not ideal.
For Facebook, the average user age is 40.5 years old. I do not want to make any of you feel old, but 40.5 for an average age is not exactly young. Facebook typically attracts older people.
You know what else typically attracts older people? Baseball.
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Baseball has become a dying sport that cannot keep up with the smaller attention-spanned next generation. It is not as fast as sports like football and hockey – both of which are growing around the United States.
Both baseball and Facebook typically attract older people, so why the partnership? Look, I am all for baseball games being broadcast on social media. The problem is that it must be done on the right platforms.
A proper platform would be Twitter. Twitter is attracting the younger generations. I am 18 years old and my friends and I use Twitter way more than we use Facebook, and it is like that everywhere. Kids are moving toward Twitter because the tweets are shorter and it is an overall better experience. The trends and news on Twitter are much more updated and organized than they are on Facebook. Twitter also allows for more interactions with celebrities, news personnel, writers and the media in general.
Twitter is just a better experience and is accepted by the younger generations way more than Facebook ever will be. Heck, even our President runs his presidency through Twitter.
Twitter is what is hip right now. Like most trends, we have no idea how long this one will last, but it would be a great platform for baseball to broadcast itself on.
The NFL broadcasts games on Twitter and for a young guy like myself, it is a big help to have games broadcast on there. Like other kids, I am usually already on Twitter so when the games were broadcast on there last year, no matter the teams, I would watch. For me, that helped spawn a greater love to watch other teams, rather than just the team I am a fan of.
Now think about that in the terms of baseball.
If the younger generations are already on Twitter and see that a game is being broadcast, they will most likely tune in. This will lead to a greater viewership among all demographics and will eventually grow the game to the younger generations, which is something baseball has struggled with immensely.
Having games being broadcast on Facebook is not bad and it will increase viewership. However, it will not increase viewership among demographics and will not grow the game the way it would if it were on Twitter.