The news comes, as you’d expect, on Twitter from its COO Adam Bain. He tweets that the social media service will stream 10 "Thursday Night Football" games, including pre and post game shows and behind the scenes videos on the company’s Periscope service.
“This new deal builds on the great success of our Amplify partnership the past 3 years w/ the NFL…and now allows full LIVE game on Thursday,” he writes. Bain adds that Twitter will control “some of the games’ ad inventory.”
Verizon, Yahoo, and Amazon were believed to have also bid for the NFL streaming package. Facebook dropped out last week, Bloomberg reports. Twitter shares are flat in early trading, following a brief spike.
Wall Street’s been keeping a close eye on the NFL’s negotiations to add a streaming partner to the Thursday night mix, noted in the February deal that split the TV rights between CBS and NBC. To protect the broadcasters, it was widely believed that a streaming service would only have about two minutes per hour of ad inventory for local spots that would supplement, not replace, the national ones.
The industry will be eager to see whether the addition of a digital option will add to the NFL’s viewers, or mostly divide existing ones.
“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,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says. “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.”