Twitter is #winning. The social network has reportedly secured a highly contested deal to stream Thursday night games of the National Football League, an anonymous source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.
While it was known tech companies and internet service providers were battling for the rights, Twitter was never named. Yahoo, Verizon, AT&T, Amazon, Google and Facebook were all in the running, Yahoo News reported. Facebook withdrew its name from consideration last week, according to Bloomberg.
While the deal is a big boon for the beleaguered social media company, it doesn’t mean Twitter will be the only place you can watch Thursday Night Football: CBS and NBC will broadcast five games apiece in the fall, with the remainder running on the NFL Network. CBS and NBC also have the streaming rights to their respective games, and Verizon Wireless customers who subscribe to its NFL Mobile service can also stream every game on their phones. For the NFL, it's a way to dip its toes into the digital pool without running the risk of alienating millions of fans who may not want to sign up for a Twitter account.
The move aligns perfectly with CEO Jack Dorsey's goal for Twitter to be about what's happening live, as well as its deal to distribute clips of NFL games as they happen. The news comes as Twitter has been struggling to please Wall Street investors, most significantly due to its stagnating user growth. Twitter boasts 320 million monthly active users, which pales in comparison with Facebook’s 1.59 billion. The stock has hit all-time lows this year.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Dorsey listed live video as his No. 2 priority in his turnaround plan in February. Twitter released its live video app Periscope in March last year. The app broadcast 200 million streams in its first year.
Twitter has other deals with the NFL, including a partnership to share video clips of in-game highlights and animated GIFs. That deal was extended in August.