The Twitter Effect On Sports


Did you happen to catch Darren Rovell on with McCown today?

The topic was the effect of social media on sports.

He made an interesting point. With social media, especially Twitter, fans can casually follow a sporting event through social media without actually watching it on TV.

The suggestion was that this is having a negative impact on viewership.

For some time I have been telling you that that HD tv has killed the live sporting event, without giving much thought about how Twitter and social media has turned us away from sporting events. Yes, the die hards follow their sports, their events or their teams. However the casual fan can keep in touch or tune in when or how they want based on what they are hearing or seeing on Twitter or other social media platforms.

On the upside, a casual or non fan may tune in to see that rare event. For example, I may have no interest in a certain baseball game that is on, however if I hear that a pitcher has a no hitter or something worth watching I may tune in. A non watcher becomes a watcher because of something they saw or heard on social media.

The flip side is that a fan no longer feels that they have to watch an entire game because they can follow on social media and tune in when they want. Audience in this case is lost.

Personally, I think that social media enhances the watching experience.

Curious, how you all think about it.

Interesting stuff


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May 25, 2012 2:34 am

The communal experience of “watching a game” on twitter has made it much more enjoyable than watching a game in your living room alone or even with a friend or two.

May 25, 2012 8:35 am

I was at the Cable Show this week and Rovell hosted a panel with Stern as well as the heads of Fox, ESPN and Turner sports networks.

Stern did say they needed to upgrade/build arenas that allowed for portable devices to enhance the in-stadium experience to bring more people to the live event. The media heads thought there was evidence to suggest that younger fans were returning to the stadiums with the advent of increased access to products like “TV Anywhere”. ESPN on the GO is one of the more successful apps.

With respect to Twitter, they all said that they though it was increasing viewership. As people tracked events they were more compelled to tune in to those that were tracking the highest. One of the interesting areas in the show was how social media platforms like GetGlue etc are appearing in order to drive loyalty and enhance the audience experience.

The Fox head stated that the sports audience is up 20% with viewership across their properties up 5%. None saw a decline on the horizon and believed the cost for content/broadcast rights is also going to keep growing. They also all agreed that sports is the perfect event for advertisers, etc as it the only property left that is best seen live.

Rovell did a great job and it was one of the better panels in the event.

May 25, 2012 11:25 am

Last night I was scouring Twitter for updates on the Heat/Pacers game and completely forgot about the game being on TSN. Was on Twitter for 20 mins before finally realizing.

May 25, 2012 4:15 pm

The other area taking away frm Sorts TV viewing are apps. I use Sportacular on my iPhone. It tells me the score at the moment as well as showing play by play if you wat it (baseball)

May 25, 2012 7:04 pm

I think i saw Deitsch that sunday football was first sports telecast to finish as number 1 on the primetime ratings for a whole season.

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