I had the most surreal experience last night. I was watching Team USA (you know, the team made up of NBA All-Stars that will represent the US in the 2016 Olympics) take on China.
But I was watching the game Live… on Facebook.
OK, actually the broadcast was on NBA TV, but my cable system doesn’t carry NBA TV (I know, weird right?). So I found it… on Facebook. It was the first time I watched a sporting event start to finish on a social media network and I found it… no different than watching it on TV except for the comments on the lower left and those stupid hearts, happy faces, and thumbs up icons flowing across the stream.
It was, however, kind of comical to see people try to turn off the comments. Somebody tried to do it using a command “/chatoff” and everybody else did the same… except it didn’t work. Funny stuff.
Now it was a TV broadcast, but simulcast on Facebook. It was a good experience. In fact, it was a great experience. Part of what made it great was what happened when they went to commercial breaks during the TV broadcast. On Facebook, they went to an in-studio host with additional content.
Yes, it was sponsored by Verizon and they got prominent placement during the host segments, and nice on-screen placement at the end, but oh-my-gosh was it more watchable than a bunch of TV commercials.
All of which scares the heck out of me working in the commercial TV station industry.