The partnership between Twitter and the National Football League (NFL) to stream games on the social media platform started on Thursday, Sept. 15, with the first of the 10-game deal being a match between AFC East archenemies the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills.
The deal between Twitter and the NFL was secured back in April, when the social network acquired the rights to digitally stream 10 NFL games under Thursday Night Football for the 2016 season.
Facebook backed out of the negotiations with the NFL, giving Twitter the chance to swoop in and ink the partnership with the football league.
Neither the Jets nor the Bills are expected to win the championship this year, but both teams are headlined by Pro Bowlers, with Darrelle Revis and Brandon Marshall for the Jets and Tyrod Taylor for the Bills.
Nevertheless, it seemed that NFL fans appreciated the streaming partnership with Twitter. The stream of the game did not have any major glitches, with the quality of the video looking very crisp and clear.
In addition, it is very easy for users to find the stream on Twitter, as it is the first item in the Moments section of the social platform's app. There is also a permanent URL for the NFL Thursday Night Football games that will be streamed, with both means of accessing the livestream also providing a timeline filled with tweets related to the game.
Twitter is looking to capitalize on the massive popularity of the NFL in the United States, with the football league expected to reach revenues of more than $13 billion this year. Professional football has consistently been one of the most popular sports in the country, with the NFL Super Bowl as one of the most-watched events on television every year.
Since the partnership with the NFL was secured, Twitter was also able to reach agreements to stream games of Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. The social platform will also be livestreaming pre-game shows of the National Basketball Association, along with Pac-12 games for college basketball.
The NFL, however, remains the big catch for Twitter, as 13 million viewers are estimated to watch Thursday Night Football on TV. Twitter is looking to tap into a percentage of those viewers, along with its 313 million users, to send out tweets on the games that will be streamed on the platform.
Twitter is said to have paid $10 million to secure the rights to stream NFL games, and while there is excitement surrounding the first match, the social network is hoping that viewers will still be logging in to the platform as the season goes on to make a good return on its investment.
The next Thursday Night Football game to be streamed is a match between the Houston Texans and the New England Patriots on Sept. 22.