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Twitter Wins Rights to Stream NFL Thursday Games

With big name websites such as Facebook, Yahoo, and Amazon in the hunt, the National Football League announced that it awarded Twitter the digital live streaming rights for Thursday night games.

According to ESPN, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made his announcement on Tuesday morning.

Terms of the deal with Twitter were not released but Verizon paid the league $250 million a year for its now ending deal.

“Twitter is where live events unfold and is the right partner for the NFL as we take the latest step in serving fans around the world live NFL football,” Goodell said in a statement releassed to the press. “There is a massive amount of NFL-related conversation happening on Twitter during our games and tapping into that audience, in addition to our viewers on broadcast and cable, will ensure Thursday Night Football is seen on an unprecedented number of platforms this season. This agreement also provides additional reach for those brands advertising with our broadcast partners.”

Twitter beat out rival social media giant Facebook, the site many thought would end up winning the contract.

Internet users will be able to watch the Twitter game live stream without having to be a registered user, the NFL said.

The NFL also sold rights to single games to both CBS and NBC for an addition $225 million. The five games sold to the networks will also be seen on the NFL Network.

Despite being around for ten years and being one of the most influential social media services on the Internet, Twitter has never turned a profit and is still struggling to find ways to bring in advertising dollars. This failure to monetize is why Twitter’s per-share price has dropped from a one-time high of $70 to $17 today.

The social media service hopes this new contract to stream NFL games will lead to an improved bottom line despite the hundreds of millions they’ll have to pay out up front.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com

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