Wednesday, September 20, 2017

MLB Needs Social Media Presence

I don't think I've ever seen a sports league be so backwards in being online than Major League Baseball. There was a time where you could watch clips that lasted a few minutes. Now, they only do 30 second clips. It's a little understandable, but this is beyond stupid. Along with being very strict, they still don't get this isn't 1996 where TV is still king and cable is still in its infancy for sports. You wonder why the other sports leagues do better on the Internet? They don't mess with fans and don't look at their wallets (NFL really depends, though). If MLB wants to do better with social media, here is what they have to do.

Get rid of the 30 second clips (somewhat)- These highlight type clips are not a bad thing if you don't want to get up and listen to Sportscenter or some local channel in the morning, but why not show the entire play? There was a time where they showed clips that lasted two to three minutes. I can't even find the 2011 clip of eight Yankees players getting hit in a span of five games. MLB should save some of the best stuff as full plays and something like a strikeout performance as 30 second clips.

Do better archiving and uploading games- A point in time this decade, MLB tried uploading games, but it was a joke. A number of games were Japanese and their own games didn't account for possibly two percent (maybe even lower) of the total of games shown since the 1940s. There are all these games they can upload and show to the public. Why do they not make the effort? Are they that money oriented that they can't give back something for free? I keep thinking about what the NFL did last year with the free games they uploaded of each team. At least for MLB, they should try to get some games real fans consider classics, not games that Ichiro Suzuki played in before joining the Seattle Mariners.

Kill Advanced Media and give teams Internet control- Here is why the NBA and NHL handle things better than baseball. They know their audiences and are less likely to get caught up in flagging videos. MLB Advanced Media will go after lots of users for videos except if they are in the stands at a game. Teams don't really have anything on their channels and their subscriber counts are still embarrassing What I mean is all the teams have is behind the scene things and press conferences. No videos of any of their highlights. MLB needs to kill off the Advanced Media brand and let the teams upload highlights and games. It would be more convenient and less of a mess when navigating for videos. Less exposure is not a good thing.

There's other reasons like making the MLB site look more stable and not slow down, but I digress. They can't keep relying on the 50 to 75 year olds who can stomach seeing the same Viagra ads for three hours. Eventually, they will all pass away. I'm not saying there isn't a new generation of people that aren't interested in baseball, but MLB should be worried. It's a step above NHL, but the NBA and NFL have grown a lot bigger on the Internet. Even with the NFL joining YouTube a few years ago, it has done things better than MLB has in the last seven to eight years.

In a nut shell, Major League Baseball has to be stop acting like dictators when it comes to social media. Instead of always being focused on money, they should start giving back to the fans. Rob Manfred should be embarrassed by how much bigger the other sports are online compared to his.

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