Many NFL fans may use Twitter to follow their team and players and react to games, but soon they’ll be able to actually watch games on the social networking service, too.
The NFL and Twitter have announced that they’ve reached an agreement that’ll see Twitter offer free live streams of Thursday Night Football games during the 2016 season. The games will also be broadcast by NBC and CBS and simulcast on the NFL Network.
This deal will also give Twitter the ability to show in-game highlights from Thursday Night Football games as well as pre-game Periscope broadcasts from players and teams.
— Roger Goodell (@nflcommish) April 5, 2016
Here’s what NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said about the Twitter deal:
“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. There is a massive amount of NFL-related conversation happening on Twitter during our games and tapping into that audience, in addition to our viewers on broadcast and cable, will ensure Thursday Night Football is seen on an unprecedented number of platforms this season. This agreement also provides additional reach for those brands advertising with our broadcast partners.”
And Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s statement:
"This is about transforming the fan experience with football. People watch NFL games with Twitter today. Now they'll be able to watch right on Twitter Thursday nights."
Neither the NFL nor Twitter have disclosed how much Twitter paid for the rights to stream Thursday Night Football games, but a report from Re/code claims that Twitter forked over less than $10 million. It’s also said that Twitter beat out Amazon and Verizon for the Thursday Night Football streaming rights.
When a lot of people think of Twitter, they probably think of posting 140-character messages to followers, but Twitter is working to become more than that. The company recently launched Moments, when are immersive ways to stay up-to-date with news, and now it’ll live stream Thursday Night Football games, too. And while some folks will probably prefer watching the games on their large TVs, there will likely be quite a few — like those without TVs — that’ll watch using Twitter.