Italian baseball and softball media visibility data reveals major growth in 2021

Italian baseball and softball media visibility data reveals major growth in 2021
As compared to 2019, the recent uptick in global viewership and media visibiiliiy suggests the thriving demand for Italian baseball and softball coverage will increase in 2022

Based on visibility data statistics, 2021 brought a dramatic increase in almost all categories considered. With additional weeks of competition scheduled in 2021 as a result of the 2020 abbreviated season due to the ongoing pandemic, the thirst for baseball and softball coverage in 2021 was also fueled by Italy hosting four European Championships and participating in the Tokyo Olympics.

Although still remains as the main hub for content, it is FIBS social media featuring captivating images that receives a surging amount of interest. The FIBS website, which has received a major upgrade and jump in following since its cosmetic facelift last May, has 310,000 unique users to mark an increase of 25% compared to 2020 and an increase of 7% compared to 2019. Online impressions tallied 1.2 million with over 1,500 editorial pieces contributed to the website.

On the social media side, FIBS gained nearly 20,000 Facebook followers and over 12,000 Instagram followers. The FIBSChannel on YouTube, which hosts 159 videos, enjoyed an increase of 30% in subscribers and a total of 137, 000 views in 2021.

In the field of audiovisual broadcasting, FIBSTV exclusively produced nearly 60 live events and recorded a slight drop as compared to the previous year but still managed to attract 103,000 reproductions (live + on-demand) by about 30,0000 unique users (as compared to 32,000 the previous year). The loss of exclusivity explains for the decline in FIBSTV since multimedia platform Mediasport Group began offering live coverage of 49 baseball and softball events available free of charge on its television channels: the satellite MS Channel (814 from Sky, 54 from Tivusat). FIBSTV produced 858 hours of coverage which reached 3,432,000 contacts while on MS Channel and an additional 1,924,000 contacts with 444 hours of programming on digital terrestrial MS Sport (source: Auditel).

A separate chapter must be reserved for the partnership with Sky Sport Italia, which exclusively broadcast all the Team Italy competitions and those that awarded the medals to the European baseball and softball championships for a total of 18 games and 39 hours of live coverage.

These numbers must be added the coverage that Rai and Discovery + dedicated on their platforms to Team Italy in the Olympic Softball competitions. The audience figures for the live broadcasts on Rai 2 - La Rete Olimpica were 86,000, 1.8 % share (Italy vs. Australia), 2,531,000, 19.1 % share (Italy vs. Mexico) and 982,000, 19% share (Italy vs. Canada).

According to Eco della Stampa, the Italian media dedicated 5,800 articles from 600 newspapers to baseball, softball and baseball for the blind in 2021 (55% in print and 45% online). Forza #Italia!

by Marco Landi and Roberto Angotti