The NFL and Twitter have made a deal to live stream the ten Thursday Night Football games of the upcoming season on the social media platform.
The Twitter stream of the NFL games will be free to users, and will supplement the broadcast of the Thursday night games on NBC, CBS, and the NFL Network. Like broadcasted games, streamed games will also feature in-game highlights.
Fittingly, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the announcement this morning on Twitter. Goodell attached a six-minute highlight video of the 2015 NFL season to give users a sneak peek of the video stream.
Over the past year, the number of Twitter's users has plateaued and their stocks have dropped significantly. Two years ago today, the stock closed at $43.14; today, the stock is $17.14 — a $26 decrease.
Twitter hopes the deal made with the NFL will bring more users to the site and bring a greater range of growth. Currently, the company has 320 million active monthly users. Ironically enough, Roger Goodell's tweet announcing the live stream was his first in nine months.
"[Twitter is] looking to stay relevant and increase audience on the platform," USC Professor of Public Relations, Matthew Le Veque said. "All their goals now are to monetize."
Not only does Twitter predict to benefit from the deal, but the NFL Network also plans to gain viewers from "cord cutters" and "cord nevers." "Cord cutters" are those who have stopped paying for cable programming, while "cord nevers" have never subscribed to cable.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, one in seven Americans have unsubscribed from cable television as of 2015. Meanwhile, one sixth of American young adults never subscribed to cable and primarily consume programming through streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
"People would rather pay for it while they are consuming it than pay for it on a month-by-month, year-by-year contract as what has classically happened with cable providers," Le Veque said.
The free Thursday Night Football steaming service on Twitter will also allow fans abroad to tune in with ease. Last season, the NFL teamed with Yahoo! to live stream the Buffalo Bills versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. According to the NFL, 33 percent of those who streamed the game were internationally located across 185 countries.
Reach Staff Reporter Kate Lonczak here.