The social media, influential as they are, have created countless platforms for people to communicate with each other and to keep up with their favourite content. We’ve looked into sports TV shows that have incorporated social media in their programme, on the example of three different formats – news (CNN sport section), pre-game show (BBC’s Match of the day) and a morning talk show (ESPN’s First take). What is your favourite sports TV format and how are they doing on social media?
CNN has its own sports section in the news since 1980, when the 24-hour cable news channel was founded. They cover all types of sports events and keep up with personal life of famous athletes. They have 771.839 subscribers on YouTube, but none of the stories from sports section end up there. They’re only available on their website.
Facebook: Their sport-specialised Facebook page with 32.408 likes is in a shadow of the official CNN page with 16.890.736. likes. Their only activity is posting links from their website and writing a quote from an article or video, that could be a reason they don’t get any kind of reaction from viewers, because no one ever responds to the few comments which appear on page and it seems like they don’t even want a reaction.
Twitter: @CNN Sport, verified account has 32.933 followers, but the content is the same just like the one on the Facebook page. They don’t ask questions, practice real time Tweeting, but they do get more reactions through favourites and retweets, although they don’t have official hashtag, but sometimes they do use one in their tweets.
The $300m fight that’s sold zero tickets: http://t.co/h7nh03R29F #MayweatherPacquiao pic.twitter.com/Gs3uoMzGss
— CNN Sport (@cnnsport) April 13, 2015
Instagram: CNNsport, the official instagram account is the platform which has the most potential. The downside is 252 followers they have. They don’t post pictures often enough, but the content has quality and the audience could find out what are they going to see in the news and where the CNN crew is filming now. They don’t use any official hashtag or promote profile on any of the other social media, so the profile is harder to find.
Lindsey Vonn all happy and chatty after winning her record 19th crystal globe #Méribel #CNNAlpineEdge A photo posted by CNNSport (@cnnsport) on
MATCH OF THE DAY
The BBC’s main football television programme is shown on Saturday evenings during the English football season, showing highlights of the day’s matches. It is one of the BBC’s longest-running shows, has been on air since 1964, though it has not always been aired regularly.
Enjoying #motd 2 weeks in a row, bloody hell I ain’t used to this!!!#lcfc
— Reena (@reena_dave) April 11, 2015
Everyone sitting comfortably, let the show begin #cpfc #motd @YannickBolasie @GM_83 — Brighty (@Mark__Bright) April 11, 2015
Future historians will write essays on which of this weekend’s premier league goals was the best. #MOTD
— Matthew Carson (@MatthewCarson01) April 5, 2015
Fans of the show respond well to their official #motd, however the content posted on their profile with 1.232.663 likes doesn’t keep them engaged as much as it could and should during the season.
Miserable night for Newcastle. Liverpool close gap on top four. Match report available here – http://t.co/9eEX3vuUBC pic.twitter.com/N9Jpya8U8N — Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) April 14, 2015
Facebook: Their page is the only one that posts clips from observed shows directly to Facebook. They don’t have an official YouTube channel, but people often put the whole taped show on there and that’s an obvious sign of the necessity for content on YouTube just like the one for Instagram profile, where a few fake accounts have appeared. Other than that, they just post links from the official website, but the football fans stay engaged in the comment section.
It’s expected that ESPN will, undoubtedly , as a part of pop culture and as a channel which earns one out of every four dollars earned by cable stations in America, set an example for a successful show. First Take’s reason for existence is to reduce every subject, from the incredibly complex to the totally uncontroversial, down to a binary issue that can be debated. Is Tim Tebow a good quarterback? Is LeBron clutch?
The two-hour morning show only about sports is unusual, but to bring A-list Hollywood celebrities to studio, to debate over sports, sure was a risky thing to do. But, again, ESPN recognized what people mostly like.
In 2012 when it was popular to make song covers using the words spoken by the famous people, they uploaded a video, which had everyone talking about Tim Tebow, who was often a leading topic in the show and everyone decided to tune in, to see what’s next.
And when negative comments,about too much exposure of Tim Tebow, began to pour in, they once again, used the most out of the social media and made a great response.
Facebook: People often respond and take part in the debates on the page, various content is available for them.
Twitter: The show has a lot of fake accounts, but the verified one has 823.878 followers and their most posted content are pictures with quotes. They use current hashtags of the events they post about so it’s easy to end up on their profile if you keep up with current sport events.
“It’s getting to the point where it’s EMBARRASSING to me!” – @stephenasmith on Tiger #MastersTake pic.twitter.com/REfZShQmw7
— ESPN First Take (@ESPN_FirstTake) April 13, 2015
Instagram: Their instagram profile is well managed. They use popular apps like ”Dubsmash” to make funny content, post about current sport events, celebrities on the show, repost content from other profiles and they usually announce the show on Monday and Friday with a visual that contains a list of topics so that over 140.000 followers know what they’re be able to see in the show. The profile is also promoted on their Facebook page, Twitter profile and YouTube channel.
#Repost @terrellowens. ・・・ Who’s your pick? Mayweather or Pacquiao? @espn #Fightoftheyear A photo posted by First Take (@espnfirsttake) on
1. Keep audience engaged with original content
Ask questions which can’t be answered with a ”yes” or ”no”. Ask them for an opinion about a topic during the show, because their opinion matters and if they feel that way, they will come back to your page and watch the show.
2. Hire specialized community managers
It’s important to invest in your content because there is plenty of other sports- related content on the internet. You have to stand out.
Your community managers must know all about the sport and be competent to discuss about it and to create good content. People know the difference between a quality discussion and just plain repost.
3. Don’t reveal too much about what will happen next
Intrigue them with a little detail to stay tuned or see the next show. If you have a big guest coming, announce them, but not the topic – fans will tune in.
4. Treat your specialized show on social media equally as any other show on television is treated
The specialized programme attracts an audience that’s interested in your topics. Make everyone love your show and sport. When it’s not airing, post various interesting sport content that will bring people to your profile or your page, so when the show starts someone will want to see what will you talk about if there’s so much good stuff on your page. Promote your social media profiles so that people know that they can reach you on various platforms.