Social Studies: Fox Sports Gears Up For Women's World Cup Conclusion
The FIFA Women’s World Cup is hitting the home stretch, which provides Fox Sports VP/Digital Content Michael Bucklin (@FoxSports) a great opportunity to assess what the net has accomplished during the tournament. Bucklin, speaking from France, said one of the biggest trends to watch in the social space is live content. Fox Sports’ “Women’s World Cup Now” show on Twitter for the U.S.-France quarterfinal had 1.05 million views, which was twice the views the comparable show had for the men’s World Cup in Moscow in ’18 -- which did not feature the USMNT. Bucklin said, “It grows every day, every time the U.S. plays, it breaks another record. It’s 30 minutes in a world where there is not a lot of 30-minute content on social. It is the most interactive show I have ever been a part of.” Fox Sports’ success during the WWC extends to video, where the net said its video views across owned and operated platforms plus social media is up 1,314% through the quarterfinals compared to the ’15 event.
Social/Digital changes for Women’s World Cup:
We are incredibly fortunate to have the exclusive rights to the World Cup in America. We are going to maximize those rights. We are producing one-play highlights for every single goal you see that is put up through our website, our app, social media, through Twitter, in under five minutes. We create these 90 in 90 highlights, which are essentially 90-second highlights of 90-minute games with our announcers.
Balancing Women’s World Cup, Concacaf Gold Cup:
It’s more than the World Cup and it’s more than the Gold Cup. We just had an MLB game in London, we got Premier Boxing Champions, NASCAR, we have a lot going on. The challenge is how broad it spreads us. We have a team that covers soccer here. Not only are they waking up early to cover the women in the morning, but they are staying late to cover the men at night in the Gold Cup. We are very thankful that the U.S. is advancing in both. The hard part is the sheer amount of work that goes into it.
New plans for upcoming NFL season:
One area we would like to keep doing a better job at is providing more long-form perspective. The internet is no longer cat videos. You look at these watch times on YouTube; you can spend 40 minutes on the phone. People go on Twitch for even longer. We have this unrivaled cast of NFL talent and we count on them to provide their personality, their perspective, their analysis. We know that as one of the top rights holders in sports that has access to all of these events, we want to bring people closer.
Collaborating with WWE:
We can’t wait to get started this October. We already met quite a bit with them. They are, if I am not mistaken, the most digitally consumed sport there is. They are so damn good at what they do. They were able to give us tips and different ways to collaborate. If you are a WWE fan, you will be pretty happy with what you see.
Social’s influence on TV:
Digital media and social media are not a fad. What we run on social media should not just influence what we are doing on social media, it should influence how we serve fans, period. We do listen to what our audience is saying; we have advanced social listening software. We have a team that is currently sitting in a war room in Playa Vista using the software to listen to every social media platform and determine what people are talking about. They are recommending what we should be talking about based on the data they are seeing.
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