Twitter eyes more streaming sports deals on the line of its $10mn NFL tie-up



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Twitter and NFL deal

Twitter signed a deal with the NFL last month to stream 10 of the league’s games. Now other sports leagues and rights holders are calling to cut similar deals — and Twitter is listening closely.

That’s according to Twitter CFO Anthony Noto. Noto wouldn’t name names but said Twitter is in active talks with “the most important and popular” sports leagues in the world in the hope of gathering more streaming rights, according to news reports.

“We’re not just talking to the leagues, we’re also talking to the broadcast partners of the leagues and the cable network partners of the leagues,” he was quoted as saying by recode.net.

In other words: Twitter wants to cozy up to rights holders that control the kind of high quality video content that Twitter competitors like Facebook and Snapchat are clamoring for.

Amid questions about user growth and decreasing advertiser spending, Twitter executives discussed the NFL deal it inked for the rights to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games exclusively on its platform for free around the globe. The deal was a first-of-its-kind for Twitter, which reportedly paid the NFL $10 million for the streaming rights and hopes to use the live games to attract more users and increase revenue from advertisers.

According to a GeekWire report, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey said that “almost every league in the world contacted us” after the company announced the NFL deal. “We plan to expand our global offering of live sports, as well as live news, politics, and entertainment,” Twitter said in its letter to shareholders.

“For content producers and rights holders like the NFL, we offer the ability to reach a large global, mobile, and younger audience both on and off of Twitter, together with years of experience making money jointly with partners through our Amplify program. You should expect to see us working with other partners to bring these kinds of joint experiences to life on Twitter.”

Twitter CFO Anthony Noto, who was previously CFO of the NFL, said on that combining tweets with live video is a ‘complete solution’. ”We know that during a 3-hour Thursday Night Football telecast, we have millions of users looking at tweets about that game and creating tens of millions of impressions that we know are very valuable to them, and very valuable to our partners — both the NFL, and of course our advertisers,” he explained.

“Being able to bring the live streaming game into the product with those live conversations and commentary is a complete solution.”

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