SBD/July 13, 2011/Media

I Will Follow: Embrace Of Social Media During HR Derby Produces New Followers

Rickie Weeks takes over MLB's Twitter account during Home Run Derby

MLB's use of social media during Monday's Home Run Derby resulted in a combined 121,428 new Twitter followers for the 23 players who tweeted from the event, or an average increase of 17%. Yankees 2B Robinson Cano, who won the event, led the way with an 84% increase in followers in the 18 hours around the "Social Media Derby." The players sent a combined 223 tweets, generating more than 18,000 @ mentions. MLB league and team Facebook and Twitter accounts gained a combined 52,375 new fans/followers in the 18-hour period. The MLB Facebook account garnered 190% more "likes" than on an average day (THE DAILY).

BOOMER SAYS: ESPN averaged 6.686 million viewers for coverage of the Home Run Derby, up 4.2% from 6.418 million viewers for the event last year, according to fast-national Nielsen data. The audience peaked in the 9:30-10:00pm ET window. Boston topped all local markets with a 10.3 local rating, followed by Milwaukee (9.3), Providence (8.4), St. Louis (7.8) and Hartford-New Haven (7.5). Host market Phoenix earned a 6.3 local rating (THE DAILY). In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel noted Chris Berman is one of the “original voices on ESPN” and despite the backlash following his commentary on Monday’s Home Run Derby, the network “is never going to jettison a founding father until he decides” to leave. Engel: “He has earned that right. His voice embodies what the four-lettered has become about” (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 7/12). Meanwhile, Rogers Sportsnet set a record in Canada Monday with 935,000 viewers tuning in to watch the Home Run Derby. The viewership marks a 55% increase over the net’s previous best of 602,000 viewers in ’10. Audience levels peaked at 1.4 million near the end of the first round when Blue Jays RF Jose Bautista made his way to the plate (Rogers Sportsnet).

MLB HOME RUN DERBY
VIEWERSHIP TREND ON ESPN
YEAR
VIEWERS (000)
'11
6,686
'10
6,418
'09
8,250
'08
9,116
'07
6,778
'06
6,787
'05
6,330
'04
7,713
   
   

AMERICA'S PASTIME: CABLEFAX DAILY writes baseball’s national success “demands notice.” The Home Run Derby posted year-over-year "improvement after 2 declining years, TBS’ post-season ad sales are pacing ahead of last year by more than 20%, and MLB Net has gained notable traction in ’11, including a 51% rise in 2Q total prime viewers.” MLB Network President & CEO Tony Petitti noted that an increase “in live weekday afternoon programming has goosed total day numbers, too (+42% in 2Q).” Petitti: “We have 35 new advertisers for 2011, our revenue is up over 40% in 2011 and we are pacing nearly three times ahead in upfront commitments over last year. It’s a sign that advertisers believe in the quality of the content and long-term future of the network” (CABLEFAX DAILY, 7/13).

 

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