- Twitter bested Verizon and Amazon after a bidding process for the rights to live-stream 10 NFL Thursday Night Football games next season for under $10 million, a smaller bid than its competition.
- The agreement, which was announced to the public on Tuesday, includes 15 ad slots that Twitter can sell.
- In a series of tweets, COO Adam Bain said the new deal builds on their Amplify partnership and will help brand marketers reach audiences in the right moments in real-time.
For Twitter the deal gives it an instant boost in live-streaming authority, an area that is increasingly interesting for marketers as well as an area Facebook has been heavily promoting through its new Facebook Live video initiative. (Note: Facebook was reported to be an early bidder for the NFL live-stream deal, but pulled out of the process last week before the final decision.)
"It also continues our strategy to build world's best daily connected audience that watches together [and] can talk [with] one another in real-time," Bain said in a tweet.
Will be amazing for Marketers to associate w/ this TNF content & reach audiences in moment they are most receptive to hearing from brands.— adam bain (@adambain) April 5, 2016
The NFL deal also provides Twitter a revenue opportunity via ads served during the live-stream, but it is limited to only 15 slots per game while the broadcast TV partner controls the majority of the ad inventory available as well as the revenue that goes with those ads.
The next highest bid after Twitter’s was over $15 million, according to anonymous sources cited by Re/code, and there has been some speculation that Twitter’s lower bid won the deal because its audience was less likely to tap into NFL viewers most likely to watch the games on the broadcast or cable TV options.
According to Seeking Alpha, analysts at SunTrust see the deal as weighing on the micro-blogging site's bottom line, but also believe it will help position Twitter as a serious live-stream player, as well as help improve user growth.
For marketers it’s worth watching to see what sort of capabilities this deal adds to Twitter’s live-stream strategy. Given the high profile and global nature of what should be popular live streams, marketers should expect that Twitter will be able to expand and improve its live-streaming options both for organic marketing as well as advertising.