6 Apr 2016

Twitter to stream NFL games

3:32 pm on 6 April 2016

America's National Football League said it had chosen Twitter as its exclusive global partner for streaming its Thursday night games during the 2016 regular season.

Twitter logo on cellphone screen

Photo: 123RF

Twitter Inc will stream 10 games for free, the NFL said in a statement.

Twitter will provide access to live video from the games without authentication to over 800 million registered and non-registered users across mobile devices, tablets, PCs and smart TVs.

It was not immediately clear how the games would be streamed. However, Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said users would be able to watch the games "right on Twitter".

The deal also includes in-game highlights as well as pre-game broadcasts from players and teams on Periscope, Twitter's live-streaming video service.

A Twitter spokesman declined to disclose the terms of the deal. However, technology news website Re/code, citing people familiar with the bidding process, reported that Twitter had paid less than 10 million US dollars.

Twitter outbid a number of companies, including Verizon Communications Inc, Yahoo Inc and Amazon.com Inc to win the deal, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news. Facebook Inc dropped out of the bidding last week, the report said.

The NFL signed a multiyear partnership with Twitter last year to deliver video and other content to fans on a daily basis.

The previous partnership, which expanded the NFL's existing partnership with Twitter, included in-game highlights from pre-season through Super Bowl 50.

Anthony Noto, Twitter's current chief financial officer, also held the same position at the NFL between 2008 and 2010.

Twitter's shares had fallen 26 percent this year. The company's shares hit an all-time low in February after the company said its user growth stalled for the first time since it went public in 2013.

The NFL said in February it would split the broadcast rights for its Thursday night games between CBS Corp and NBC, a unit of Comcast Corp.

The NFL will get a total of about 450 million US dollars from CBS and NBC for the rights to broadcast 10 games in 2016 and 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported in February.