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How Technology Is Impacting The Way Fans Watch MLB’s World Series Games

September 20, 2019 Jennifer Chang

The rapid evolution of technology has created a mobile-first paradigm, effecting how viewers watch live sports. Now, an increasing number of sports fans are conveniently tuning in to mobile devices to feel deeper connections to their favorite teams through live social content and to get their sports fix, rather than solely watching on television. With the Major League Baseball World Series starting next month, fans can have an engaging experience in just a few clicks.

MLB’s “At Bat” App Offers Enticing Features For Fans On The Go

Digital viewing of sports on mobile devices allow for stronger audience engagement. Users can download MLB’s “At Bat” app on iOS or Android devices to access in-game highlights, replay video clips, see pitch-by-pitch features and live-stream World Series games. A study done by App Annie, a mobile analytics and market data platform, showed that, as of 2016, people spent almost three times as many minutes on the “At Bat” app than they did on any other major sports league app. Fans may be drawn to use this app, due to its variety of features and helps them stay up to date with favorite MLB teams. Busy sports fans appreciate the convenience of watching games on their own terms without having to physically sit in front of television screens. MLB’s “At Bat” app allows users to watch World Series games in real time and access special features all in one place, even while on-the-go.

MLB Network Strikes New Partnership With YouTube

To engage a younger audience, the MLB Network introduced a new partnership with YouTube, giving fans more ways to watch live games and experience in-game engagement. Tim Katz, YouTube’s Head of Sports Partnership, said, “We came into the season really trying to think through the balancing act between making sure we’re doing a great job of serving fans — especially the core, existing fan who watches every day on the local regional sports network, as well as bringing in a new audience.” Now, while watching games, individuals can live chat representatives from different MLB teams to have unique, shared game-watching experiences.

One of the biggest reasons individuals may now gravitate toward live-game streaming platforms over television viewing is the absence of commercials. Instead, with OTT (Over-The-Top) steaming, viewers have access to rich content, like interviews and segments on Most Valuable Players. Such features are often a part of traditional broadcasts, but are limited by time constraints.

MLB Network And Twitter Take The Field Together Once Again

Twitter and MLB Network have announced a renewed streaming partnership for the 2019 season. With even more MLB content this year, Twitter is aiming to have more fans view live games on mobile, watch near-real time highlights and join MLB conversations. This season, Twitter gave users the unique opportunity to vote for which players’ at-bats they want to watch live every day. And, for the first time this year, MLB will post highlights of every home run hit during the World Series. To help fans bring their baseball tweets to life, Twitter has even created special hashtag-triggered emoji’s for all MLB teams. Fans can join conversations by tweeting about their favorite MLB teams using their team’s unique hashtags. Twitter has created a place where fans can come to view live games and interact with one another, an experience that is completely unique from viewing games on television.

Transforming The Game-Watching Habits Of Sports Fans

Watching live sports is becoming increasingly more accessible. As sports leagues and broadcasters adapt to the changing media consumption habits of consumers, more than a quarter of sports fans are now streaming sports to mobile devices, according to new YouTube data from Google. According to Google’s Sports Viewing Survey, which polled 1,520 sports fans between the ages of 18 and 54, 30% said they live-streamed sporting events to their smartphones or tablets. What’s more, 80% of respondents said they have juggled multiple screens while consuming sports, including messaging other fans or searching for player statistics. With MLB’s World Series right around the corner, more individuals will now have the chance to watch this live sporting event, and that will create more opportunities for brands to engage with fans through a variety of platforms.

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About the Author

Jennifer Chang

After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Media Communications from the University of Delaware, Jennifer Chang embraced the world of all things media and digital marketing. Beginning with an internship at McCann Health New Jersey, Jennifer analyzed data and statistics for clients’ websites, researched competitors and conducted market research. Finding a natural fit in Digital Media Solutions (DMS), Jennifer joined the team as a Marketing Strategist, where she uses her high motivation and keen eye for detail to provide support on division-specific marketing campaigns and various advertising lead generation initiatives. She is also a valuable contributor – both writing and editing – for DMS Insights, and enjoys working alongside a team of like-minded individuals.

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