Twitter will stream full Thursday Night Football games this fall, according to a press release by the NFL.
Visitors to Twitter will have access to free live-streaming of the games, without authentification, according to the press release. The deal will also include pre-game periscopes from NFL players.
The social-media site is said to have beaten Facebook, Verizon Communications, Yahoo, and Amazon to win the streaming rights, according to an anonymous Bloomberg source.
The cost of the deal has not been formally disclosed. However, the price is rumored to have been less than $10 million for the 10 game package, according to Re/Code. The same report says that some of Twitter’s rivals in the deal bid more than $15 million.
Last year Twitter signed a multi-year deal with the NFL to show regular video highlights, according to Reuters. However, this will be the first time that the social media site will stream full NFL games.
— Roger Goodell (@nflcommish) April 5, 2016
Bloomberg reported Friday that Facebook withdrew its bid. Facebook’s vice president of partnerships, Dan Rose, had previously confirmed to Variety that Facebook was in talks with the NFL about streaming Thursday Night Football games.
Sources told Bloomberg that Facebook “balked” at the NFL’s advertising model and wanted its live video to be commercial-free.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that his dad will be happy about the news.
— jack (@jack) April 5, 2016
The NFL said in the press release:
The National Football League (NFL) announced today that it has selected Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) as its exclusive partner to deliver a live OTT digital stream of Thursday Night Football to a global audience across devices and for free during the course of the 2016 NFL Regular Season. Twitter will stream the 10Thursday Night Football games broadcast by NBC and CBS, which will also be simulcast on NFL Network, securing the league’s “Tri-Cast” distribution model of broadcast (NBC/CBS), cable (NFL Network), and digital (Twitter).
Partners since 2013 through the Twitter Amplify program, the NFL and Twitter will provide free, live streaming video of Thursday Night Football without authentication to the over 800 Million registered and non-registered users worldwide on the Twitter platform on mobile phones, tablets, PCs and connected TVs.
In addition to live streaming video of NFL action, the partnership includes in-game highlights from TNF as well as pre-game Periscope broadcasts from players and teams, giving fans an immersive experience before, during and after games.
With this partnership, the NFL has again extended its digital presence, making the most valuable content in sports and entertainment available across multiple digital platforms free for all users.
“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”, said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. 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.”
“This is about transforming the fan experience with football. People watch NFL games with Twitter today,” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO. “Now they’ll be able to watch right on Twitter Thursday nights.”