Thursday, February 23, 2017

Can Facebook Bring Baseball Back?

For some (like me), baseball is life. Day-in and day-out, in-season or off-season - watch a game, troll the highlights, read recaps, or game analysis, just be around the game. It's the absolute best. But even the diehards and the lifers will acknowledge a simple fact: Not enough people appreciate the game.

Baseball did incredibly well last year as a whole. The Chicago Cubs, who had not won a World Series in over one hundred years, final won it all. Not only did they win, they won in a very dramatic seven-game series that had all the drama and excitement that almost every baseball game has - if you're paying attention. Unfortunately, for too many of the 21 million people who were hooked to the World Series last year, they may never watch with the same interest ever again.

While this may be because they just don't care enough about baseball, I like to think it's because they don't have access to the games. Many people are cutting their cable in favor of viewing content on digital platforms. This is why a potential Facebook - Major League Baseball (MLB) deal would be enormous for any level of baseball fan.

As it is rumored, the deal would allow MLB to stream one game a week on Facebook. Considering Facebook is the largest social media platform (cited at 1.7 billion viewers worldwide at the end of 2016), the access MLB would get is enormous. Such a deal could do wonders for a game in need of a spark. Being able to distribute their content, even once a week, to up to 1.7 billion people is a .

If this deal comes to fruition, baseball would be the first sport league in the US to do a deal with Facebook. As all sports are copy-cat leagues, success in a Facebook-MLB partnership would definitely be replicated - especially by the all powerful National Football League (who is currently suffering a decline in viewing). But before that could happen, someone has to show the success this model has. Who better to do this - Who better to lead the way, than Baseball? America's favorite past time!

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