Twitter has won digital simulcast rights for the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package for 2016, which includes the ten NFL games that will be broadcasted by NBC and CBS as well as pre-game warmup broadcasts on Periscope. Twitter will be live-streaming the games globally for free without requiring sign-in, and reportedly will be selling one-third of the ad inventory itself.
The news came after month-long rumors of front-running bidders for the NFL live-streaming rights, which included Verizon, Amazon, Yahoo, and Facebook. This deal marks a continuation of Twitter’s ongoing partnership with the NFL, which started in 2013 when the social network struck a deal to publish game highlights and video clips.
What Brands Need To Do
With consumers increasingly migrating from consuming media content on TV sets to streaming on their mobile devices, it makes sense that media owners and brand advertisers are following the eyeballs. Live sports events are one of the last bastions against the ratings erosion that the TV networks have suffered from in recent years. As this and Yahoo’s similar deal with the MLB indicate, live sports viewing may soon shift toward digital and consequently eat into TV ratings. For brands, this means it is time to consider reallocating their ad spending between digital and TV. Brands with an international presence can also leverage Twitter’s global reach to get in front of a wider audience.
To read more on how brands can reach the audiences on OTT streaming platforms, please check out the Appified TV section in our Outlook 2016.