Reblogged from USA TODAY, by Michael Hiestand
Exhibitions such as all-star games can serve as petri dishes for TV innovations that eventually move to other events. Fox’s July 10 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will debut something that future generations might take for granted: Letting players use social medium during the game. But not while they’re playing — only before the game starts or after they’ve left the game.
Fox’s coverage has always been edgy. The network pioneered using in-game interviews and miking players. Allowing players to use social media proved a hit in last year’s Home Run Derby on ESPN: The 23 players who used Twitter during that event gained about 121,428 followers which, according to MLB, was an average per-player increase of 17%. At the event’s end, it generated nearly 5,000 tweets per second.
The All-Star Game determines World Series home-field advantage. But that doesn’t mean social media is inappropriate, says MLB executive vice president Tim Brosnan: “We’re being careful in its use, because the game counts.”