PGA names Twitter as exclusive live streaming partner
- The PGA announced Twitter as its exclusive live streaming platform for the 31 golf tournaments in the 2016-17 season, per a joint press release.
- Twitter will live stream more than 70 hours of coverage beginning with the CareerBuilder Challenge on Jan. 19 through the season-ender Tour Championship. The live streams will include interviews and pre-game analysis to complement on-course competition.
- For brands, TV-style mid-roll spots are available for purchase along with original content from the PGA that's open to sponsorships.
Amid recent executive departures and following significant layoffs in Q3 2016, Twitter’s future has continued to look rocky at best heading into the new year. One of the few lasting bright spots, however, has been the platform's ability to cut live streaming media deals with professional sports organizations. It's an area where Twitter has consistently proved more impressive than the competition, and the new team-up with the PGA demonstrates that business interest in the micro-blogging site remains strong as the idea of "live" rises to top of mind for marketers.
But despite the number of professional media partners going live on Twitter, users were only granted access to streaming tools in December. The tardy opportunity for users to join in on the streaming conversation might weaken Twitter's early foothold in the space, especially as other offerings like Facebook Live grow in popularity.
Twitter received positive buzz for the 10 NFL games it broadcast this season and still has partnerships in place with the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS to stream sports coverage and original content produced by the leagues. It hasn’t been clear how the deals will impact Twitter’s ad revenue, but sports has been seen as one of the last bastions of destination viewing, which was once the sole purview of linear TV but now appears to be migrating to digital channels.
If Twitter’s live streams catch on with more sports viewers, advertising dollars should follow the new source of eyeballs. The deal with the PGA includes an extension with Twitter’s Amplify program, with the PGA Tour increasing highlight videos and regular content creation across Twitter and Periscope.
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