The backing of major Toronto sports teams could turn BBM Channels into a big opportunity for ailing Blackberry

by Andrew Roach on November 27, 2013

Although Blackberry’s problems have grown worse over the past few years, the one constant that has always performed well has been Blackberry Messenger and has remained popular with users up until today.

It has also been a huge hit with celebrity figures too and this backing could give a new lease of life to the software if plans outlined by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment come to fruition over the next few months.

The sporting giant, who owns NHL side Toronto Maple Leafs and the MLS’ Toronto FC plans to use the new BBM Channels within all its teams and hopes that sports fans will flock to the new idea to see what all their favourite stars are doing.

BBM Channels is one of the newest features of the talking platform and allows users to create status posts, uploads media content and interact with fans like they would on Twitter or Facebook.

In their backing of the service, MLSE will create separate channels for all three of the sporting teams run by the firm (Leafs, Raptors, TFC) and have hinted that dedicated player threads could also be in line if all goes well with the team profiles.

MLSE has been one of the major partners with Blackberry for the service and have helped test out the Channels platforms over the last few months as the smartphone manufacturer looks to build on the success of its messenger service.

Senior figures at MLSE are big believers in the new feature and hope that the idea could eventually grow into a social network that is just as popular as Twitter, Facebook or Google+. This was emphasised in comments made by their vice president of global partnerships Jeff Devlne who told the National Post: “People love to know the personalities of the players more closely, and if they can share some of their insights, as I’m sure they will, and their visits and what they’ve done during the week, I think some of that will really resonate.”

BBM Channels is scheduled down to launch next Tuesday and the platform is already expected to have over 30,000 channels created on the opening day including profiles from MLSE, Tim Hortons and Mercedes-Benz.

With BBM now available on all mobile platforms, BBM can cater for a much larger audience and the social network features of BBM Channels could bring some much needed success back to Blackberry in the modern wireless world.

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