Scott Braun talks about the evolution of MLB on YouTube broadcasts

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For the third year in a row, YouTube is broadcasting exclusive MLB shows, with 21 games available for free on this site this year (including Giants-Reds game Thursday afternoon). As with last season, MLB Network’s Scott Braun is calling the majority of those games again, and he spoke to AA on Wednesday about how the shows have changed since last year. Braun said a big difference is the ability to put players on the mic for every match, which he says adds a lot to broadcasts.

“We’ve had guys mic in the past, but now it’s a consistent part of the broadcast for this season. And I’m so excited every time my producer walks into my ear and says, ‘Hey, Scott, we’ve got more of the Nelson Cruz sound,’ or the Shane Bieber sound, or ‘Mike Trout just reacted. to this room ”. And then I can say, like, ‘Okay, Mr. Trout, your thoughts?’ “

“And that’s such snackable content for social media apps and other shows; I see it afterwards on studio shows for days on end. I’d watch a whole show of that, and I know there’s a show like that on YouTube to satisfy that urge to hear all the gossip out there. And micro-up content sparks discussions with our analysts. “

“And I would say that overall the response from the player side and the fan side to YouTube games having consistently multiple mic players for each game has been so, so great. I am really excited about this. And it makes the games so unique to be able to hear them throughout. “

Braun said gamers have really embraced the idea of ​​being mic for these shows.

“I think they have a lot of fun with the fact that it’s almost like someone is shadowing them all day long. A lot of times the sound clips will include someone like Josh Harrison saying “Hey, bring this for YouTube today, boys!” They have fun and recognize that we are there with them for the day. We often include players who can talk and entertain. “

“I would say the way I can tell it’s been so well received is the actual content and the sound clips that we get from them. And even some players told me afterwards that it was really fun and that they watched the game or asked family or friends to see what they said during the game. It’s a pretty quick passage of their sound clips as we play them; it’s not live, but the production team is shooting the sound clips fast enough that we can get feedback on particular tracks.

Another change for this year is the way they have expanded the use of polls.

“We amplified our polls during the game,” Braun said. “We’ll have about four questions per game, related to current topics in that specific game or current MLB topics that week or related to one of the teams or players we’re looking at. Some examples might be “How many no-hitting players will we see this season?” “Who has the best hairstyle in the game?”, “Who has the best baseball field?”, “Which surprise team will make the playoffs? “”

Braun said the polls also worked well with in-game interviews.

“We also have one or two in-game interviews per game, and [for Giants-Reds], we have Wade Miley, who just had this no-hitter. And he wore a Hulk temporary tattoo that his four-year-old son Jeb gave him, and it’s become a thing now with pitchers on the Reds wearing Avengers temporary tattoos for fun. So one of our poll questions, and it will pay off when we chat with him, is “ What all-time MLB superpower would you most like to have ?: Rickey Henderson’s speed, the power of Babe Ruth, Ozzie Smith’s Golden Glove, or Nolan Ryan’s Fastpitch? I think it’s really fun.

In our conversation last year, Braun noted that part of what makes YouTube games fun is that audiences have been younger and more global. He said that was still the case this season.

“It continued. It’s definitely a global audience, and I keep that in mind as a broadcaster. And this audience is also there for the 30 minutes before the match, the 30 minutes after the match. I know it’s a global audience from the posts I get on social media from fans watching all over the world, as well as fans from other teams telling me how badly they want their team to be on the YouTube game of the week. “

Braun said these messages can also cause him to respond to the show.

“I’ve never shouted someone before, but I will shout someone [during Giants-Reds] for the first time on a show. My Instagram account is pretty interactive, and there’s someone watching from Bermuda and being an absolute die-hard, watching all the games, and they text me every now and then like, “Hey, the broadcast was really fun today. ‘hui’. And he sometimes says, “Hey, will the Reds ever be?” So with the Reds someone like that I can just customize it for them. And it’s cool to see someone from outside the United States watching and being absolutely excited. And it’s free and it’s super easy to watch; Just type MLB into the YouTube search bar or the YouTube app and it’s there. “

Another piece of the show’s puzzle is questions from the creators of YouTube, which Braun says helped make the shows better.

“And as we evolve and add poll questions and mic players, we also continue to incorporate live chat comments from YouTube creators. We pass some of the questions directly to the players during the canoe interviews; We’re also responding to creators’ questions in a more organic way, connecting them to topics we discuss on the air and post-game show. And those are great questions, and they play directly into what we do.

“We’re seeing it live, and if there’s anything relevant then we’ll bring it. Antonelli Baseball, it’s a great YouTube channel run by former MLB player Matt Antonelli, he might comment.” Do you think he uses his cursor more? and maybe he’s looking at that particular pitcher, and then I can ask that question of our analysts, which are Danny Graves and Jeremy Affeldt for Giants-Reds. And they can respond as we watch. “

And beyond that, fans who watch these shows now even have the option to vote for the game’s player (out of four options), which Braun says is a fun expansion and even includes a trophy.

“Part of our survey is now for the in-game YouTube player. The in-game YouTube player offers more menu options to the viewer; as you know there are a lot of shows that make the player of the game, but for us we said, “ let’s give this option to the fans ” because we already have a poll option generally accessible on their feed. So that gives them the opportunity not only to choose who the player of the game is, but also to choose who is the post-match interview, because that’s who we’re going to talk to after the match. “

“And the trophies are actually really cool, and YouTube designed them really beautifully. And the players are having a lot of fun with it. Players embrace it and have fun with it, and it’s a great way to make a regular season game more special or out of the ordinary. YouTube engraves their name there and sends it to them. “

“It’s a nice touch, and it’s another thing we can give to the fans; most regional broadcasts will have a player from the “Name-that-sponsor” game, so YouTube does, but we’re letting the fans choose that. It’s a pretty big part of what we do, and it’s received a good buzz on social media and also from gamers.

Here’s the MLB schedule on YouTube during the All-Star break:

Miami Marlins vs Philadelphia Phillies – Thursday, May 27 at 12:10 p.m. ET

New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks – Wednesday, June 2 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Dodgers at the Pittsburgh Pirates – Thursday, June 10 at 12:30 p.m. ET

Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Angels – Thursday, June 17 at 9:30 p.m. ET

Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers – Tuesday, June 22 at 8 p.m. ET

Seattle Mariners at the Toronto Blue Jays – Wednesday, June 30 at 7 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers – Friday, July 9 at 8 p.m. ET



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