In the first of many editions of Sunny Or Scrambled, we’ll take a look at some changes MiLB is implementing to their social media policies.
The Minor Leagues began making the news rounds last night with an announcement regarding a new policy for teams wanting to show their game action highlights on their respective social media channels.
Let’s go to the tweets:
. @MiLB has sent teams a memo that includes the missive they should limit the number of game-action highlights they tweet out. They’ve told teams to expect a formal policy in the coming weeks. I’m so frustrated with my favorite sport.
— Tepid Participation (@TepidP) April 10, 2019
As reported by @TepidP, MiLB plans to limit the number of game-action highlights that teams tweet out in the near future.
An MiLB spokesperson provided this statement when asked about the new directive. pic.twitter.com/lWtRyf990B
— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) April 10, 2019
If this seems backwards to you, you’re not alone.
Essentially, MiLB (and to some degree from behind the curtain, MLB) wants to limit the way teams deliver on-field action on their own social media channels and implement a centralized way to disseminate in-game video. Without corporate speak: “we don’t make money letting teams tweet out game highlights, so let’s tell them to stop so we can come up with a way to make money showing game highlights.” One can suspect this is also meant to drive fans to plunk down coin on MiLB.TV since they won’t be able to catch up on their teams via the team’s social channels through videos.
“That’s dumb, but whatever. I’ll just go get box scores from the MiLB app!”
one thing you definitely have to admire about the MiLB app is they've now made it obnoxiously difficult just to even look up a box score.
— Craig Goldstein (@cdgoldstein) April 9, 2019
MiLB decided to go 2 for 2 on “goofing stuff up” and made it very difficult to even find box scores on their own app.
So are these changes Sunny or Scrambled? Easy call here.
The whole scenario feels like putting toothpaste back in the tube after you’ve already given it a hearty squeeze. MiLB is choosing the bold strategy of “shoot yourself in the foot” by limiting the amount of exposure its product gets among fans of baseball.
It’s important to remember that Minor League Baseball is inherently community-based and centralized in each city a franchise resides. Making your team and product as accessible as possible to those fans outside of your immediate market vicinity only makes too much sense, doesn’t it? Instead, MiLB wants to go back a decade and make a ham-handed attempt to assume control of its product in the name of the almighty dollar and to the detriment of its growing fanbase.
There’s also a more dubious and nefarious reason why MiLB may be dialing back on highlights. An undercurrent of thought suggests that with less availability of video on players, fans will be less vocal in demanding their parent MLB clubs call up a player who appears ready. With labor strife possibly on the horizon, one could suspect this might be another reason for the policy change.
It’s a shame to see MiLB try to copy the tactics of its parent league in limiting how its product is shown. Unlike the latest fashion trends or collectors items, making your product “limited edition” will do nothing more than to upset your fanbase and turn off new consumers from wanting to consume your baseball product.