How Social Media Has Impacted Sports Broadcasters

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Once upon a time the only way to hear your favorite sports commentator was when their voices came crackling over the radio during a live broadcast and while that’s still a big part of modern sports the rise of social media has put these once faceless voices a few finger taps away.

Just ask Colin Cowherd, host of The Herd with Colin Cowherd and sports personality that has made his presence known on nearly every digital platform. Cowherd sat down with iHeartMedia Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman to discuss how he approaches reporting on the world of sports and the impact social media has had on the profession.

“It’s a visceral connection,” he told the host of Math & Magic: Stories from the Frontiers of Marketing with Bob Pittman. “You can reach out and touch people now.”

Cowherd added that while he appreciated and enjoyed connecting with his fans through social media, he dislikes the toxic environment it sometimes creates. His social media strategy is simple, create content for his 12 platforms and hopes people like it.

“You can’t monetize my missed shots,” he said. “I think the person who puts out the most quality content over time wins and I think ours is very good.”

The broadcaster reflected on a comment made by Monday Night Football commentator and comedian Dennis Miller, who once said he didn’t read what people wrote about him. According to Cowherd, the quote went, “If it's too good I'll get cocky, if it's too bad I'll get insecure.”

However, Miller’s time on ABC existed before social media was blended into everyday life, but Cowherd pointed out how it still is applicable to modern broadcasting. A fear of online backlash has increased, causing some personalities to avoid sharing strong opinions.

“Nobody wants to be exposed or called out, but that’s never bothered me,” he said. “In a weird way it's made it easier for me.”

To Cowherd, being criticized means being relevant. He has made strong opinions his brand and isn’t afraid to share them publicly.

Listen to “Colin Cowherd: ‘I’m more interested in ‘the why’ than ‘the what,’” to hear the full conversation. Find The Herd with Colin Cowherd and Math & Magic: Stories from the Frontiers of Marketing with Bob Pittman on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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