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Twitter Gets 10 NFL Thursday Night Football Games

5 Apr, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

In a surprise, Twitter April 5 announced it will stream 10 NFL Thursday Night Football games in the upcoming season. The social media app beat out a host of online behemoths for the rights, including Amazon, Facebook, Verizon and Yahoo. CBS and NBC control TV broadcast rights.

Yahoo last year exclusively live-streamed the first NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Twitter, of course, disclosed the NFL deal in a series of tweets from COO Adam Bain.

“Have some big news we want to get off our chest …” Bain tweeted, accompanied by a video clip of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton appearing to rip open his jersey.

“Announcing a new partnership w/ @NFL to stream 10 live Thursday Night Football games, pre & post-game shows + behind-the-scenes periscopes!”

Bain said the pact builds upon an existing deal with Amplify and NFL for select online game rights. He said streaming the games would enable viewers to have easier social media access to watch “together & can talk w one another in real time.”

Twitter will also be able to sell ads to some of the games.

“Will be amazing for marketers to associate w/ this TNF content & reach audiences in moment they are most receptive to hearing from brands,” Bain tweeted.

Twitter could use a hit. The social media pioneer quarter saw its stock tumble after issuing weak guidance, including declining user growth. The service claims 320 million active users on a monthly basis, including 1 billion unique visits to sites with embedded tweets.

Separately, with 3,900 employees globally, Bain said that starting May 1, Twitter will give all new parents 20 weeks of paid maternity leave.

In a mock “official” comment regarding the NFL deal, Bain tweeted a postgame video clip of Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins gesturing to the press:

“You liked that! You liked that!”

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