Press Clipping
How the NBA is Owning Digital

Pex, an LA-based video and music analytics & rights management service, has released data that shows the comparison of the ways that professional sports leagues “control” or allow their content to travel online, and how the leagues perform across social platforms.

From an observational standpoint, the three main American leagues used in this examination are positioned somewhat like this:

-The NFL promotes a team-first, protect-the-shield branding driven by billionaire owners.
-The MLB is not too good with sharing video clips and is more tight about letting players share official MLB content on their own socials.
-The NBA embraces social media – they are a league driven by shareable highlights, star players, and social action.

All of this is playing out on social media where the NBA is having huge success with engagement because they are allowing their video content to travel freely.

Even on the surface, the official NBA YouTube channel has 11M subs, while the NFL’s only has 4.7M, and is boosted by highly-trafficked sites like House of Highlights and Ximo Pierto.

Pex took the top viewed video from each official sports league (MLB, NFL, NBA) channels on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook uploaded this year and grabbed all copies to compile a cross-platform analysis.

Here’s what their findings show:

Views multiplier: views from copies, outside of the original uploads
-MLB: Views multiplier: 1.91
-NFL: Views multiplier: 2.59
-NBA: Views multiplier: 5.68

-copies appeared mostly on IG + TW, with 51.50% of copies on IG
-copy views appeared mostly on FB, with 34.89% of views

-copies appeared mostly on YT + IG, with 39.71% of copies on YT
-copy views appeared mostly on YT, with 61.89% of views

-copies appeared mostly on YT + TW, with 34.39% of copies on YT
-copy views appeared mostly on FB, with 40.57% of views

Takedowns: Videos being removed from the platforms
-MLB: 7.33% of copies taken down
-NBA: 14.33% of copies taken down
-NFL: 21.09% of copies taken down

Key Takeaways
-MLB content appears most prevalent on short-form platforms like IG, TW – More so than the NFL & NBA
-The footprint and reach that the NFL & NBA has, drives 3x as many views and 8x as many copies in comparison to the MLB based on the top content from each of the sports leagues respectively in 2019
-The NFL leads in takedowns (21.09%) vs the NBA (14.33%) and MLB by far the lowest at 7.33%

It is therefore apparent, that a professionals sports league’s inability to create, distribute and share highlights is not only affecting fan engagement, but it is also attributing to lost revenue and organic air time for both the individual athlete and the franchise.