And just like that, the NFL has found its next digital vehicle for the next season.
This morning, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell tweeted that Thursday Night Football will be streamed live on Twitter.
There’s no way anybody really thought Twitter was going to win the deal here, going against major heavyweights such as Verizon, Yahoo! and Amazon, among others. Interesting, as Re/code is reporting, the price paid by Twitter was actually considerably lower than several other bids, with estimations that Twitter purchased the rights for approximately $10 million.
The streams will be completely free, meaning anyone can tune in and watch without a cable subscription. The plan seems to be an attempt by Twitter to drive new account growth, a number that has been lagging in recent quarters, as the stock has tumbled from its once increasing value.
Twitter will make for an interesting medium for streaming live sports, as many users confess to their addiction to Twitter streams during live broadcasts. Following along with a game’s hashtag or even just the general feed’s commentary always makes for an entertaining addition to any game.
Twitter has over 300 million current global active users, so their reach is impressive, now will users want to tune in to watch games through their service? If the quality is good, and the commentary is seen more as a feature and not a nuisance, this should certainly make for one of the most interesting experiments of 2016.