Twitter Wins Big in Deal to Stream Thursday Night Football

On Tuesday, Twitter brokered its first-ever media deal—and, boy, it’s a doozy.

Per Bloomberg, Twitter has secured online streaming rights to 10 Thursday Night Football broadcasts this upcoming season, all coming at a reported $10 million price tag. For those keeping score at home, this million-per-game is $7 million less than Yahoo paid for a single online broadcast last season—one streamed at 8:30am here in Chicago, given the contest took place in England.

The Twitter Thursday Night Football package will run parallel to television broadcasts on CBS and NBC, who themselves also have streaming rights as well; meaning, Twitter’s deal isn’t for exclusivity, but rather, for additional coverage. 

Twitter CFO Anthony Noto told CNN Money that the TNF deal is “one element of a much larger strategy”, one that will include pre-game Periscope broadcasts from players & teams. Twitter and the NFL have enjoyed a business relationship for some time, as the social network has been streaming game highlights for three seasons (and selling ad space against this content). Since Twitter will be streaming the CBS/NBC broadcasts, they will have a limited amount of ad space to sell for themselves for the TNF games as well—about 1/3, according to MarketingLand. Given this is the NFL we’re talking about, expect ad rates to be at a premium.

While small business advertisers may not have the budget for in-stream video during the Twitter TNF broadcasts, there is the potential for event targeting to be big on Thursday nights, with even more eyeballs checking out the live feed and the related hashtags to follow.

As of late, the TNF streaming package has been pursued by the likes of Facebook, Amazon, and AOL’s new parent company, Verizon. Twitter Thursday Night Football streaming will be available through the app, web, and on certain Internet-connected televisions, as is expected to be accessible even by those not signed-in to the service.

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