The biggest job of the league's front office is to make sure that the game of baseball, and Major League Baseball specifically, continues to grow and remain popular as new generations grow old. In the eyes of many, they are losing younger generations right now and they're focusing on trying to get them back. Obviously, commissioner Rob Manfred has been gung-ho about pace of play. Improvements in that area aren't the only way to reach a new audience, though. MLB seems to also realize they need to join the 21st century, and according to reports they are pushing for a deal with Facebook for the tech giant to stream one game per week.
While the deal is not yet complete, the reports indicate they are deep in the conversations. This alone wouldn't create a new generation of baseball fans, of course, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. It's no secret that younger people are watching less and less TV and are utilizing more streaming options. Being able to attract to cord-cutters on the biggest social media platform in the world certainly couldn't hurt. This, in addition to the fact that most media markets should be close to in-market streaming deals, shows that MLB is finally starting to get it.
As for Facebook, the deal makes sense for them. Social media platforms have been trying to get into the sports game for the last few years, since it's clearly the last vestige of live television. We saw Twitter have success with Thursday Night Football last year, and Facebook is an even larger platform. It's unclear at this time what kind of game they would be getting in a deal with MLB, but it would be a nice start for them as their first deal with a major league. MLB still has work to do in marketing to young people — like changing their social media rules around sharing highlights and figuring out how to market their stars — but this potential partnership with Facebook is a nice start.
- Rob Manfred is obsessed with rule changes to improve pace of play, and it's getting pretty weird.
- There's nothing particularly extraordinary about this play (except for the fan interference, I suppose) but baseball is officially back and this was the first run of the spring.
- Albert Pujols is never going to be the guy he was with the Cardinals, but can he at least remain respectable through the rest of his contract?
- The Royals are coming off a disappointing year. Can they blame injuries for their lackluster performance?
- As much as Red Sox fans probably don't want to hear it, Hanley Ramirez let everyone know that they need to stop expecting David Ortiz to come back.
- Dexter Fowler probably isn't going to have a career year for the Cardinals, but it's certainly not impossible.
- The Rockies are moving closer to their contention window, but they haven't had talks to keep Carlos Gonzalez on their roster long-term.
- On the other hand, the Mets are still working towards a deal with Neil Walker.
- Yankees fans won't have to go through too many Alex Rodriguez withdrawals, as the former star could be appearing on the YES network a bit.
- The Giants recently had their photo day, so Grant Brisbee shares what he learned.