The Kansas City Royals brought an abrupt end to Turner Sports’ coverage of the American League Championship Series by sweeping the Baltimore Orioles, but the cable programmer was still able to show off some of the features enabled by its embedding of Facebook into its live postseason productions.
Rob Shaw, who works on strategic partner development for sports media content at the social network, discussed the integration of content from Facebook and Instagram into Turner Sports’ broadcasts in a post on the Facebook Media blog:
Facebook was the first social media company to be “embedded” in Turner’s live production during the Major League Baseball postseason, working hands-on with broadcast producers to create more than 20 on-air integrations of Facebook and Instagram content. Turner Sports had a unique opportunity with Facebook, becoming the first broadcaster to use a new suite of on-air tools developed by Facebook Public Content Solutions partners. Facebook has hired staff with extensive television-production experience to work alongside broadcasters.
The Hashtag Counter application-programming interface is just one of the new Facebook tools that allows broadcasters to build out clever narratives and tell richer stories on-air. Turner Sports also used a Facebook dashboard that maps out the conversation state-by-state, and pulled data on the fly to find out how many Royals fans on Facebook were alive the last time Kansas City made the playoffs (in 1985).
TBS producers also used new media-curation tools to source relevant content on both Facebook and Instagram, and produced other creative on-air segments by polling Facebook fans. All of these tools enhanced the broadcaster’s ability to tell real-time stories to a live viewing audience during games.
Readers: Did you watch any of Turner Sports’ MLB postseason coverage? If so, did you notice any of the integrated content from Facebook and Instagram?