Facebook Snags Rights to 25 MLB Afternoon Games

In a first, Major League Baseball has signed a deal with Facebook enabling the social media behemoth (1.4 billion active daily users) to exclusively stream one afternoon MLB Network game per week. The deal reportedly is worth upwards of $35 million.

The deal, which primarily involves Wednesday games, starts April 4 with the Philadelphia Phillies taking on the New York Mets. Facebook reportedly will include graphics and links during games to enhance the social media appeal among younger viewers.

Last May, MLB and Facebook partnered to stream select Friday night games – the league’s first regular-season live streams on a third-party platform beyond MLB.com and MLB.tv. Facebook previously streamed Spring Training games in 2011.

Unlike Netflix, which thus far is shunning live sports programing, Facebook, YouTube and Amazon have become active platforms/bidders for National Football League, UEFA Champions League soccer and NCAA basketball live contests.

“Much like the migration of sports from broadcast to cable, you’re reaching these milestones where the combination of the financial incentive and the audience allow you to make the next great leap,” industry consultant Lee Berke told Bloomberg.com. “This is part of the next great leap.”

Survey: Facebook Losing Favor Among Millennials?

The average millennial reportedly checks their phone more than 150 times per day. But where (i.e. Facebook) this demo (18-38) checks on favorite brands is changing, according to new data from Moosylvania, a 40-person marketing agency based in St. Louis.

“We know they are on the channels talking with their friends. What we want to know is how and where they are connecting with their favorite brands,” said CEO Norty Cohen.

In a January mobile-only survey, respondents were asked how they connected with their favorite brands on their smartphone. The survey compared responses from 2017 to 2018.

Respondents that used Facebook declined from 52% to 40% among younger millennials (17-27) and from 48% to 33% among older (28-38) millennials.

Despite the drop, Facebook remained the largest go-to platform among respondents.

“[It] can’t be overlooked,” said Cohen.

Indeed, Facebook had 2.2 billion monthly active users in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Statista.com. Facebook says 1.40 billion people on average logged on daily in December 2016, which represented a 14% increase from the previous-year period.

Meanwhile, Instagram use remained steady at 33% for younger respondents and up 5% to 24% among older millennials, according to the survey.

Twitter fell from 28% to 16% among younger millennials, and down 4% to 17% for older millennials.

Snapchat use increased from 20% to 24% among younger millennials and up 1% to 11% with older millennials.

Cohen attributed the changes to increased efficiencies of branded emails and websites.

Brand website use among respondents increased 1% to 20% with younger millennials and went from 20% to 25% with older millennials. Email use increased from 17% to 18% with younger millennials and up 4% to 22% with older millennials.

“Personalization and customized experiences [online] are easier to create than ever,” Cohen said.

YouTube gained from 22% to 23% among younger millennials and decreased 1% to 17% with older millennials.

Pinterest was down from 4% to 7% of younger millennials and down 5% to 6% with older millennials.

Text messaging was flat at 9% for younger millennials and up 1% to 11% with older millennials.

Cohen, who has written a book on brand connectivity in the Internet age – says brands need to develop two-way conversations to better connect with their consumers.

“Channels that can personalize and get there quickly are going to do better in the long run,” he said.