Thursday Night Football Is Coming Live To A Twitter Near You This Fall

Image courtesy of C x 2

It’s no secret that the NFL has been looking for streaming partners for its Thursday night games. A month ago, the rumor mill said that Facebook was looking to be the victor on that field. But today the news has broken about what streaming service will be getting the games, and it’s not Facebook — nor is it Amazon, Netflix, or any big streaming suspect you might suspect. It’s Twitter. Yes, that Twitter.

Bloomberg first reported the deal, which was later confirmed — how else? — in a tweet from league commissioner Roger Goodell, his first since September 2014.

“This fall Thursday Night Football will be streamed live @twitter so fans will see more of this,” Goodell wrote, sharing a six-minute highlight reel of the 2015 season.

Twitter will be streaming 10 of the 16 Thursday night games, the NFL said in a press release. The other six games will be airing on the NFL Network.

Those same games will be broadcast on CBS and NBC when they air this fall, and those networks also paid for digital rights — so they can stream the games on their own over-the-top services. So while Twitter’s streaming is not exclusive, it is still noteworthy. Because seriously, who thinks of Twitter as a go-to live sports destination?

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey does, apparently. “This is about transforming the fan experience with football. People watch NFL games with Twitter today,” Dorsey said in a statement. “Now they’ll be able to watch right on Twitter Thursday nights.”

Tech news site Re/Code, citing people familiar with the situation, reports that Twitter’s bid beat out not only Amazon but also Verizon, both of which had expressed interest.