A New Path

Twitter may have struck gold.

If you haven’t heard, the social media site was chosen by the NFL to stream Thursday Night Football (TNF). Users will be able to stream games from Twitter’s platform. The icing on the cake is that you don’t have to own a Twitter handle to watch (but who doesn’t have one of those?) Only ten games will be available thought Twitter but it’s still a victory.

By having live games streamed Twitter has blazed a path to take social media to the next level. Twitter can now earn even more revenue and the NFL can get their product out to a vastly bigger crowd. If there’s one thing we know about the NFL it’s that they’re always looking to expand its audience.  

Twitter has been hot on Facebook’s heels throughout the years and this might be the final step into overtaking the social media crown.

Why is this so important?

Social media sites now know they can expand their platform beyond their current audience. More people will tune in through Twitter than by watching it the old fashioned way. People will now have the option to watch the game from literally anywhere. The versatility alone makes this valuable.

If they’re smart they’ll add extra features that would only be available for those who have handles. Twitter’s value will skyrocket and set the trend for other sites like Periscope.

If this goes well we should seeing other sites line up to stream content from other leagues. People spend a lot of time on their phone, finding a way to reach them there is the right way to expand the social media experience.

As always, thanks for reading.  

Embrace Debate

Every weekday morning from 10-Noon on ESPN2 First Take airs. For those who aren’t familiar, First Take is a show where the concept of “embracing debate” is taken to another level. Stephan A. Smith and Skip Bayless banter back and forth about the biggest sports stories of the day. I’m not a big fan of the show anymore but this isn’t a piece ripping the show to shreds.

Actually, it’s more of an insight on what makes the show successful, along with a few critiques.

I’m a “bad news first” kind of guy so let’s get that out of the way. First Take, overall, is a mindless show where Skip and Stephan A. get to say almost anything they want. It can range from threatening NBA players to a multitude of over scenarios. They both have their obvious biases towards certain teams and their objectivity is diluted. They aren’t afraid to beat their chest when they are correct and will gloss over the things they weren’t even close on. If you weren’t paying close attention you’d think that Skip Bayless is a prophet.

I’m not the only one who has a negative taste due to First Take. Many in the sports world have also sounded off on the show.

With all of that being said, First Take is one of the most successful shows ESPN has ever put on its airwaves. Ratings are constantly climbing and it seems that the viewers have an unquenchable thirst to hear Skip and Stephan A. talk to each other.

Why is that?

First Take has carved out a niche that other networks are trying to follow. The “babershop” debate based show creates an atmosphere where the only rules are is to have an opinion. You don’t have to be right, just take the facts and twist it in a manner that makes your “opponent” look wrong.

It’s the perfect storm.

We, as sports fans, love drama. It’s what keeps us locked in to begin with. The last second shot, the hail mary, the shootout, the walk-off…..watching the drama unfold is what makes sports great. ESPN has captured that same feeling and translated it to the set. Let’s be honest, watching Stephan A. and Skip argue until emotions boil over is great television.

That’s why they aren’t going anywhere soon.

As always, thanks for reading.  

P.S. (I know this is an advertising blog. I’ll get back to that next week.)