Here’s an interesting sports media nugget from HBO.  We’ve seen an evolution at Real Sports this year with the program shifting away from Bryant Gumbel’s closing monologue to a variety of comedians with ties to the networks opining on topics in and around sports.  The shift is a nod from Real Sports to reach younger demographics and expand the audience base for the show, and perhaps even generate some viral content.

Now Real Sports is pushing further in that direction with this first-of-its-kind step for the show.  The program released their entire feature on Ronda Rousey on YouTube, the first time Real Sports had uploaded a whole segment online.

Senior Producer Joe Perskie spoke to our Ben Koo about the decision:

“This is a first for us, and depending on the reaction, it’s something we may look to do again. It’s a chance for people beyond the HBO universe to sample our show and get to know us, and hopefully it’s a chance for them to enjoy a good story.”

It’s a wise move from Real Sports, especially as more and more networks and programs realize that social platforms can be key viewership drivers in 2015.  We’ve seen it with networks like ESPN and Fox Sports 1 that are producing special online embracing digital and not just Especially with Real Sports airing on a premium network like HBO, making select segments available like this could pique interest for the program and cause interested viewers to make the leap to pick up the channel to watch more.


About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

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