Facebook Strikes Significant Deals With MLB, Warner Music

Facebook and Major League Baseball have agreed to an exclusive deal through which Facebook now has rights to stream 25 afternoon MLB games live on its social media platform. This marks the first time a major sports league in the U.S. has agreed to broadcast regular season games exclusively on Facebook — and the decision was unanimous among MLB owners. Though neither party disclosed financial details, people close to the matter say it is valued between $30-$35 million. Facebook also signed a major licensing deal with Warner Music Group. Continue reading Facebook Strikes Significant Deals With MLB, Warner Music

Advertisers Strategize Response to Facebook’s Watch Platform

Facebook launched its Watch video platform in the U.S. this summer, to increase viewership of videos on its site, and as a destination for longer-form video that stands apart from Facebook’s News Feed. In the few months it’s been live, Facebook Watch already includes hundreds of shows, including content funded by Facebook such as reality series, docu-series, a dating show and live-streaming weekly Major League Baseball games and NCAA college basketball. Now, Morgan Stanley reports on just how well Watch is performing. Continue reading Advertisers Strategize Response to Facebook’s Watch Platform

Fox to Air Six-Second Ads During Thanksgiving Day Football

On Thanksgiving Day, sports fans watching football on Fox Sports will be treated to six-second commercials, which will take over the screen between plays, leaving the game in a small box on the side. Fox Networks Group first tested the six-second spot in August and, more recently, has aired them during the Major League Baseball World Series. The National Football League is embracing the six-second ad model as a way to cut down on time spent on commercials as well as make them less disruptive. Continue reading Fox to Air Six-Second Ads During Thanksgiving Day Football

Facebook Signs Exclusive Streaming Deal with MLS, Univision

As part of Facebook’s strategy to expand its video business, the social network is looking to stream professional sporting events. Most recently, Facebook signed an agreement with Major League Soccer and Univision that will give the social platform exclusive, English-language streaming rights for a minimum of 22 regular season games in the U.S. The games will stream via Univision Deportes’ Facebook page, and the exclusive “Matchday Live” analysis shows produced by Major League Soccer will air on the MLS Facebook page. The first match-up is slated to stream this Saturday. Continue reading Facebook Signs Exclusive Streaming Deal with MLS, Univision

Exclusive Live-Streaming Deal Brings Pro Lacrosse to Twitter

Twitter and the National Lacrosse League are teaming up to introduce live-streaming via the popular social service. Through a two-year-deal, Twitter — which has rights deals with Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League, and streamed Thursday night NFL games last season — will become NLL’s exclusive live-streaming partner (NLL does not presently have a national TV broadcast deal). “Twitter will distribute a free live broadcast of one NLL game weekly (starting March 17), as well as playoff and Champion’s Cup games and highlights, on its platform for the 2017 and 2018 seasons,” reports Variety. “Games will also be simulcast on NLLTV.com, the league’s recently launched subscription-video site.” Continue reading Exclusive Live-Streaming Deal Brings Pro Lacrosse to Twitter

Amazon’s New Fire TV Stick Includes Alexa Digital Assistant

Amazon’s newly debuted $40 Fire TV Stick is the cheapest way to access Alexa, the company’s digital assistant which enables users to find TV programs, purchase products on Amazon’s online store, hear news updates, play a song on Spotify or check the weather. According to Amazon, Alexa is currently capable of understanding 3,000 different commands and can also offer shows from 90 apps and channels. Fire TV Stick’s more than 4,000 apps include Netflix, Hulu, HBO, ESPN and Major League Baseball. Continue reading Amazon’s New Fire TV Stick Includes Alexa Digital Assistant

Amazon Said to Be Looking Beyond Video to Streaming Sports

According to unnamed sources, Amazon is actively pursuing the rights to numerous sports, including the French Open tennis championship and professional rugby as well as golf, soccer, auto racing and U.S. sports such as basketball and baseball. Capturing rights in the U.S. will be challenging since CBS, NBCUniversal, Fox, Turner Sports and ESPN have inked long-term contracts for most major sporting events. In talks, Amazon points to the popularity of Amazon Prime, which reaches an estimated 63 million U.S. subscribers. Continue reading Amazon Said to Be Looking Beyond Video to Streaming Sports

Disney, Major League Baseball Partner for Streaming Sports

The Walt Disney Company just invested $1 billion for a 33 percent stake in BAMTech, Major League Baseball’s streaming division, with an option to buy “a controlling interest” in the future. BAMTech, which also handles streaming for HBO among other media entities, will be Disney’s partner in creating an ESPN subscription streaming service that will most likely debut by the end of the year, according to Disney chief executive Bob Iger, and offer baseball, hockey, tennis, cricket and college sports. Continue reading Disney, Major League Baseball Partner for Streaming Sports

NFL, Snapchat Partner for Discover, Live Stories, Advertising

After a year-long relationship, the National Football League is now one of Snapchat’s Discover partners, the first sports league to have its own media channel there. Beginning in the fall, the NFL will offer news and behind-the-scenes photos in Snapchat’s animation-friendly format, and also package Live Stories, 24-hour diaries that compile and stitch together photos/video from the league and fans. Live Stories will be created for all 256 regular season games and major events such as the NFL Draft and the Super Bowl. Continue reading NFL, Snapchat Partner for Discover, Live Stories, Advertising

Disney to Buy Stake in BAM Tech, MLB Streaming Video Unit

Disney is acquiring a 33 percent stake in the streaming video unit of Major League Baseball’s MLB Advanced Media tech arm. The deal values the unit, dubbed BAM Tech, at $3.5 billion. Terms of the deal also reportedly include a four-year option for Disney to purchase an additional 33 percent stake. The deal raises the prospect that Disney “is poised to expand its range of online-video services,” reports Variety. “The league formed MLBAM in 2000 to launch MLB.tv, one of the earliest Internet-delivered video subscription services. Since then, it has grown the division to operate streaming services of several other companies — including Disney’s WatchESPN.” Continue reading Disney to Buy Stake in BAM Tech, MLB Streaming Video Unit

Twitter, Yahoo Score Major Live Sports Deals with Ad Slots

Two digital platforms scored big live sports deals this week. Twitter beat out Verizon, Facebook and Amazon to win the rights to stream 10 of the National Football League’s Thursday night games. In exchange for $10 million for the global rights, Twitter will get 15 advertising slots to sell commercials for each game. Yahoo, which offered free Major League Baseball games last year, will stream 180 games this year for free online, one per day for the rest of the league’s season, except for local TV blackout restrictions. Continue reading Twitter, Yahoo Score Major Live Sports Deals with Ad Slots

Twitter to Unveil Moments, Curated News for a Wider Audience

With Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey now in the chief executive seat, the company is ready to unveil a new feature aimed at people who find Twitter too confusing to use. Moments imposes order out of the currently chaotic timeline, by creating narratives based on big events being discussed on Twitter. The Moments section, found next to the standard timeline, will list news events being discussed; with a click on any headline, the “moment” will open up to a full-screen selection of tweets arranged by Twitter editors. Continue reading Twitter to Unveil Moments, Curated News for a Wider Audience

Why Action Sports Dominate Mobile Viewing Time of Millennials

The National Football League is starting its own YouTube channel and Major League Baseball, which began streaming games online 13 years ago, bought the rights to manage the National Hockey League’s Web operations. But action sports — including surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding — rule millennials’ viewing time on their mobile phones. Although Americans are still watching less video on mobile phones than traditional TV, action sports on mobile channels is a parallel universe of sports viewing and is likely to remain so. Continue reading Why Action Sports Dominate Mobile Viewing Time of Millennials

The Rise of E-Sports: Videogame Coaching is a New Profession

With the rise in popularity of e-sports, videogame coaching as a profession is also on the rise. Coaches can make from $30,000 to $50,000 a year, a salary that matches that of minor league baseball coaches. Coaches study gameplay, oversee practice sessions and provide feedback to e-sport competitors, many of whom can earn up to $120,000 a year. As tournament fans are quickly turning videogame competitions into a popular spectator sport, e-sports now generate more than $600 million in global revenue. Continue reading The Rise of E-Sports: Videogame Coaching is a New Profession

MLB’s Statcast Tech Could Revolutionize the Game of Baseball

Last year, the MLB Network began testing Statcast, a high-tech system used to measure and track every on-field movement during a ball game that could not previously be measured. Due to a costly radar installation process, the equipment needed to support the system was only previously available in three ballparks. However, MLB recently debuted the system during a Cardinals-Nationals matchup and confirmed the system would now be available for coverage of games at all 30 parks. Continue reading MLB’s Statcast Tech Could Revolutionize the Game of Baseball

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