Twitter just became a huge part of the NFL viewing experience.
The social media company, which has more than 800 million registered and non-registered users worldwide, was chosen by the NFL to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games, a move that continues the league’s recent push to expand its game to all media outlets.
“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,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a joint release from the NFL and Twitter. “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 Thursday Night Football package will be broadcast on NBC and CBS, as well as the NFL Network, and now Twitter. The league’s association with Twitter began in 2013 with the Twitter Amplify Program. In addition to live streaming NFL games, the partnership also will include in-game highlights and pregame Periscope broadcasts from players and teams.
“This is about transforming the fan experience with football. People watch NFL games with Twitter today,” said Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO. “Now they’ll be able to watch right on Twitter Thursday nights.”
Last season, the NFL live-streamed its first game on Yahoo! when the Bills played the Jaguars in London. The game was viewed in 185 countries, according to the NFL.
Thursday Night Football started in 2006 with an eight-game schedule exclusively on NFL Network. In 2014 and 2015, CBS partnered with the NFL Network to present a 16-game schedule. In February, the league announced that both CBS and NBC will broadcast five Thursday night games. NFL Network will exclusively televise eight games, including Thursday night and late-season Saturday games.