Major League Baseball is looking to expand their audience, and they might have something figured out as they’ve signed a new deal with Twitter.
Twitter has signed a new six-year deal with MLB and the National Hockey League to live stream out of market games including a new highlight show called The Rally partnered with 120 Sports. The social media platform has been busy this year signing deal with the four major sports as they’ve also signed deals with the National Football League to live stream ten Thursday Night Football games globally and the National Basketball Association with a feature of displaying games in 360 degrees.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has been trying to accomplish what former commissioner Bud Selig couldn’t do by reaching out for a new demographic: the youth. It’s been difficult for the league to catch up in terms of technology much like the NFL and NBA. The NBA is a popular sport around the world and the NFL is trying to catch up by playing regular season games in the United Kingdom with hopes of expanding to Mexico City and Germany in the future.
With social media being a major platform used by the under-25 age demographic, it makes sense for both sides to have this deal. Twitter is struggling to see growth in its monthly active user metric, and with live streaming being seen as the future, it’s best for them to use this method to attract new people. The MLB and NHL need help with viewers and keeping them engaged with the game they are watching.
For now, Manfred should continue to run his youth participation programs since they have seen an increase of four percent. It’s a bit sad to say this, but with today’s digital age, almost everyone, including your grandparents is attached to social media (or at least their iPhone). It’s becoming more difficult each day to hold a conversation with someone in person because of how advanced technology has become.
It’s a small step in the right direction for America’s national pastime, and hopefully, the league can benefit from this new deal. It’s still unknown when the live streaming for out-of-market games will begin (or how much it will cost), but fans will slowly see engagement. Major League Baseball is late to the party when it comes to technology and social media, but hopefully this deal points to a more engaged future for the league.