SNY Taps Megaphone TV To Boost Multiplatform Fan Engagement, Sponsorship Opportunities

Interactive storytelling, transactional ads enhance viewer participation

The era of viewers’ sitting on their couch and being glued to an entire live sports broadcast is firmly in the rearview mirror. Today’s sports fan is constantly multitasking and consuming content on multiple devices while watching the linear broadcast. With that in mind, regional sports networks like SNY in New York are looking for new ways to engage fans and, as a result, create opportunities for sponsors within the broadcast and on digital platforms. Enter Megaphone TV.

Interactive elements like polls offer SNY both a way to encourage fan engagement and a sponsorship opportunity.

“TV measurements have changed, and they’ve gone from the traditional Nielsen ratings to being focused on engagement,” says Marc Davis, director, content operations, SNY. “Everything is centered on building engagement and driving [TV] viewers to our digital platforms. And Megaphone is a perfect way to do that. We have the [viewer] watching on TV, and these Megaphone [elements] not only enhance participation within our [linear] shows but drive [viewers] to our website and create a fun environment for them to interact with.”

Engaging Viewers at a Whole New Level

Megaphone TV’s Viewer Engagement Platform allows news organizations, broadcasters, and streamers to produce interactive storytelling moments and transactional ad campaigns through live polling, trivia, and social integration. SNY has leveraged Megaphone TV’s platform to create a variety of in-game polls that allow fans to make predictions, voice opinions, and share opinions that can be integrated into the broadcast and help drive fans to SNY’s digital platforms.

“We don’t want to dominate just your TV but also your phone, your tablet, and your computer screen,” says Davis. “Working with Megaphone has given us the tools to do that. We know people at home are multitasking nobody is sitting at home just watching TV; they’re on their phone. If you’re going be on your phone, we’d like for you to be on your phone with SNY. Creating these products hand in hand with the Megaphone team has been very successful.”

In addition to polls, trivia, or social content with sponsor logos, Megaphone TV provides SNY with billboard and promos as a lead-in/lead-out of a segment in the broadcast, pop-up offers on SNY’s digital platforms directing viewers to an advertiser’s website or content, 15- to 30-second video clips for additional value, and other elements for SNY’s broadcast and digital platforms.

A Bridge Between Broadcast and Digital’

Prior to the pandemic, SNY had begun looking into Megaphone TV as a way to boost fan engagement. However, once COVID arrived and SNY’s production team shifted primarily to work-from-home, Megaphone TV became even more interesting because of its StreamClick Cloud Production platform.

Since then, SNY has continued to increase its use of Megaphone TV in several ways for studio and in-game programming. In addition, the RSN uses the platform to create opportunities for sponsors within the broadcast and on digital platforms.

“We look at [Megaphone TV] like a bridge between broadcast and digital,” says Megaphone TV Executive Producer Paul Schmidt. “People are watching a broadcast or watching a Mets game, and you’re giving them a reason to go to the SNY digital [properties] to participate. Once they’re there, we try to be a high-quality lead-generation funnel. In the case of SNY, where they have a lot of sponsorships, we can direct people to the sponsors’ websites and other platforms.”

The Workflow: Ease of Use Is Key

In terms of workflow, an SNY production assistant builds the graphics and the poll questions for each show and is able to trigger these elements within the broadcast since the Megaphone TV platform is integrated directly into SNY’s switcher in the control room.

“What makes Megaphone TV’s products so great,” says Davis, “is that they’re very easy to use and one person can handle all of it. The [interface] used to program everything is very easy to populate, and it’s very easy to teach someone how to do it. And that person who builds it is also the same person who can trigger it. It’s on a computer that is essentially live the whole time whenever we need to use it.”

The Future: Sports Betting, More Sponsorships, Continued Evolution

With the recent legalization of sports betting in New York State and SNY’s growing portfolio of sports-betting programming, the RSN is looking to use Megaphone TV’s platform to add interactive betting elements into its shows. With those elements come sponsorship agreements with DraftKings, BetMGM, and others.

“The sponsorship side of things has gone really well,” says Davis, “especially when it comes to betting, which seems to be taking over the world right now. Our sales team drives what we do with Megaphone TV [sponsorship], and we’ve been able to offer them a better experience. On digital, instead of just having a pop-up ad with a one single image go with a poll, it has evolved to a video ad. A lot of the clients that we work with now send us a 15-second video clip that takes you to their website. That has created a lot of value for most of the clients that we deal with. When [fans] go to our website and vote on the poll, we can direct them directly to [the sponsor’s] website.”

According to Schmidt, the Megaphone TV team is in constant contact with its users and is always on the lookout for the next great widget to provide new fan-engagement and sponsorship-enhancement opportunities.

“We always view the people we work with as actual partners,” he says. “We’re constantly listening and working with them to see what would be of benefit to them. For example, we have regular check-in calls with our partners to see where their heads are and what they’re working on. And our product-development team is constantly spinning up new stuff that we can present to our partners. It’s truly a two-way street that benefits everyone.”

Password must contain the following:

A lowercase letter

A capital (uppercase) letter

A number

Minimum 8 characters


The Latest in Sports Video Production & Technology
in Your Inbox for FREE

Daily Email Newsletters Monday - Friday