Twitter agrees deal to live stream NFL games
Social networking site beats rivals Yahoo and Amazon to show ten Thursday night matches
Twitter has won the rights to stream live NFL games next season in a "groundbreaking" deal that could have a huge impact on the way live events are broadcast.
The agreement will come as a huge boost to the beleaguered social media company, which outbid rivals including Verizon, Yahoo and Amazon for the rights to show ten Thursday night matches.
Twitter has been looking to boost its live video content and last year signed a multi-year partnership with the NFL to deliver content to fans on a daily basis.
Having already agreed new deals with CBS and NBC, Tuesday's announcement rounds out the NFL's aim "to make games available on broadcast, cable and digital" platforms, says the Financial Times.
While live events have largely bucked the downward trend for TV viewing figures, the NFL has taken steps to broaden its distribution network to include people spending more time watching online video, often on their mobile devices, and as more young consumers bypass pay-television packages in favour of "over-the-top streaming services from companies such as Netflix and Amazon", says the FT.
"This is about transforming the fan experience with football," said Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell added: "Twitter is where live events unfold and is the right partner for the NFL as we take the latest step in serving fans around the world live NFL football."
Twitter's share price has fallen by two-thirds in the past year as growth stalls, so its "investment in sports doesn't come as a surprise", says Darren Rovell of ESPN.
"The platform has had great success as a fan's accompaniment to live games. The deal would allow fans to experience both the game and their Twitter feed without use of a second screen."