Twitter wanted the rights to broadcast the first streaming-only NFL game, but lost out to Yahoo, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Twitter offered the split revenue with the NFL, and the non-exclusive rights to stream, but fell short on the money side. Instead, it tried to woo the NFL with its expansive audience. The NFL took the money.
Yahoo reportedly paid $US20 million for the game, which will be played in London.
But this doesn’t mean a partnership between Twitter and the NFL is done. They already have a content deal to post NFL highlights on Twitter, splitting the ad revenue.
And the NFL might become even more important to Twitter with the introduction of its new “events-based” feature, Project Lightning, which curates primarily photo and video content around live events.
Twitter’s editors will create multimedia packages based around events, which users can swipe through to get an immersive experience, even if they aren’t there. It’s akin to an enhanced Twitter TV channel that can also be woven into your home feed (if you follow an “event,” its content will intersperse itself in your regular Twitter feed). And then it will just melt away when the event is finished.
Project Lightning is still months away, and the revenue model with potential partners isn’t public, but if Twitter’s interest in streaming NFL games is any indication, live sports events will likely be a substantial force in Project Lightning.