Fox Sports Touts Big Gains For Social Video Content Around Super Bowl
Fox Sports came away pleased with what it offered digitally around Super Bowl LIV, as Exec VP David Katz said the net "truly moved the needle in terms of what original digital production can be." Fox Sports' coverage of Super Bowl LIV across social platforms was up 211% for the week compared to the last time Fox had rights to the game in '17. Fans consumed 135 million minutes of social video content, up 461% from '17. The "Fox Sports Super Bowl LIV Watch Party," which featured a trio of Super Bowl-winning QBs -- Joe Montana, Brett Favre and Drew Brees -- drew 8 million views across digital and social platforms. Fox offered no television promotion for the watch party, and there was no call to action by play-by-play announcer Joe Buck during the game's telecast for viewers to get their phones or tablets to tune in to that live stream. The watch party was not only deemed a success based on its viewership and production value, but from the talent as well. Montana has already expressed interest in returning for another watch party.
GAME CHANGER: Another successful digital production was "The ReUnion," featuring a quartet of former Univ. of Miami players who went on to successful NFL careers. Originating from Fox Sports' South Beach set last Wednesday, "The ReUnion" drew 6 million views. It is a format Fox Sports would like to experiment with in the future. Fox Sports' Super Bowl Opening Night, which featured a pair of WWE wrestlers covering the Chiefs and 49ers, had 2.5 million views. Katz believes Fox Sports broke barriers last week for what should be expected from digital departments. Katz: "Everything that we had hoped to achieve over the course of the week we achieved, and we achieved it at an order of magnitude higher than we had hoped."
ROOM TO GROW: Katz said growth in the digital space is here to stay. He said, "The familiarity people have with opening up their phone or putting in looking in the app when a connected TV and Apple TV device or a Roku device or an Amazon Fire Stick or any of these platforms is only going to increase. ... It's an enormous amount of content out there. And we see a lot of viewership, you know, week after week on all of our owned and operated apps and platforms. So, I don't see that slowing down. I think we're living in a world where streaming is a growth engine for our industry."