Here’s What the Move of Major League Sports  to Streaming Means to Advertisers

Recent news of the Apple TV+ exclusive deal with Major League Baseball to air Friday night games on its streaming platform is another example of how Americans continue to move from traditional forms of media (broadcast and cable TV, and terrestrial radio) to follow sports via digital. Apple jumps into major league sports with Amazon, which will be the exclusive home of NFL games on Thursday nights this Fall.

As streaming (OTT) becomes increasingly more prominent and the preferred way to consume video content, major league sports are following fan preferences.  

It is unknown at this point how between-inning commercial breaks will be handled as Apple+ is a paid subscription that does not air commercials. And keep in mind, the average MLB game is 3 HOURS LONG (not a bad thing for a baseball fan like me), with multiple commercial breaks for pitching changes and between innings.  This longer format makes baseball the perfect game to capture attention elsewhere via auxiliary devices – phones/tablets – and other channels, like social, display, and more. Fans are no longer locked onto a TV set for the entire game.

Live sports is popular among fans and changes like these will continue to keep it top-of-mind with marketers. Just consider:

  • Four out of 10 global sports fans use digital platforms to stream live sports – proof that fans are hungry for sports content and are choosing over-the-top (OTT) options to watch.
  • An explosion of content across platforms has increased consumption of additional sports content — live matches and non-live. 
  • Any sports-related content is hot, especially among younger generations 16-29, who watch non-live sports content via digital that’s related to live matches.
  • The demand for content related to a live event (announcements, highlights, recaps, etc.) is almost as high as it is for digitally delivered live events. 

The digital media pros at Brkthru can help because we say YES! and can reach your sports-fan customers wherever they are.