Twitter Will Now Be Streaming Bad NFL Thursday Night Games

ESPN– Twitter won the bidding for the digital streaming rights to the NFL’s Thursday night games, commissioner Roger Goodell announced Tuesday morning — on Twitter, of course.

The league offered the package to a host of companies, including Facebook, Amazon and Verizon, which is in the last year of a sponsorship deal with the NFL that pays the league $250 million a year. Terms of the deal with Twitter were not disclosed.

“Twitter is where live events unfold and is the right partner for the NFL as we take the latest step in serving fans around the world live NFL football,” Goodell said in a statement. “There is a massive amount of NFL-related conversation happening on Twitter during our games and tapping into that audience, in addition to our viewers on broadcast and cable, will ensure Thursday Night Football is seen on an unprecedented number of platforms this season. This agreement also provides additional reach for those brands advertising with our broadcast partners.”

The league made the point of saying the games will be free and that viewers do not have to be registered Twitter users. The rights package also includes in-game highlights of the Thursday games and pregame Periscope broadcasts from players and teams.

Contrary to the tone of this title, I actually like the idea. You got your Twitter feed up on the side of your screen and the game to the other. You can immediately tweet your thoughts and probably rewind and post awesome plays. Also it’s free which is huge for people who have cancelled cable subscriptions.

But I’m also a creature of habit. I like having my football on the big screen and my phone in hand to tweet. Is this really gonna make any difference in how I watch football? Maybe not. But for those on the go or unable to change the NFL Network from Spanish (this happened to my roommates and I for all of sophomore year), it could be a lifesaver.

This seems like a good deal for both sides. Twitter is in desperate need of revenue and will attract lots of advertisers with the NFL eyeballs. And the NFL will increase its social media presence, and allow fans to watch on computers and phones while picking up a huge check. As an avid Twitter user, I hope this will keep the platform sustainable. Sports are one of the last television programs that are best watched live and Twitter allows for real-time conversation and quick turnaround on replays. Engaging on Twitter during NFL games really does enhance the experience. It feels like you’re watching with a bunch of people even if you’re just chilling alone. Okay that sounded sad.

So all in all I guess I’ve convinced myself. It’s a good move. We can also watch 10 Thursday Night games on CBS/NBC and of course all 17 on the NFL Network. The pre-game periscopes from the players should be cool too as long as the guys aren’t filtered and can say whatever they want. Decent move, Roger. Just don’t get cute and add Wednesday Night Football to be broadcast on Snapchat.

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