Twitter Announces 16 New Livestreaming Partners at Its First NewFronts Presentation

Company's focusing on news, entertainment and sports

Major League Baseball Advance Media is one of the partners that will stream weekly live games on Twitter this season.
Photo Illustration: Dianna McDougall; Source: Getty Images

Another 16 sports, news and entertainment companies will soon be livestreaming content on Twitter as the company furthers its mission to be the go-to source for live content around the clock.

During its debut at the Digital Content NewFronts, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and other executives unveiled the company’s new slate of programming for 2017 as it plans to livestream video content 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Twitter, which has increasingly bet on live programming since the fourth quarter of 2016, has seen its number of partners grow quickly. Total hours of live content grew from 500 in the fourth quarter to more than 800 in the first three months of 2017, according to Twitter.

At the event for advertisers and media buyers Monday night in New York, the company showed that it’s moving beyond text, its lifeblood for the past 11 years, and into original, curated programming from dozens of partners.

While it’s planning a slew of content across news, sports and entertainment, Twitter also announced several brands that will sponsor content. For example, Nike will be the first official sponsor for the PGA Tour, while Wendy’s will sponsor a new entertainment show with reporters talking about the trendiest tweets.

After betting big on live video in the fourth quarter of 2016, Twitter last week announced promising numbers for the first quarter of this year. According to its latest earnings statement, Twitter gained 9 million users in the first three months of the year, a solid bump from the few million it’s been adding each quarter for the past few. Wall Street seemed to be feeling better about it, too, with the company’s stock rising on the news.

Dorsey said Twitter has spent the past 11 years answering the question that’s becoming somewhat of the platform’s rallying cry—”What’s Happening?”

“It’s a fundamental question that people ask every single day of their lives,” he said. “Sometimes they ask it out of curiosity. Sometimes they ask it out of boredom. Sometimes they ask it out of fear, and sometimes they ask it out of love. The point is, we wake up thinking, ‘What’s happening? What’s going on?’ We go to sleep asking that question. We go throughout our day with that question, and we want to be sure we continue to be the first place people check to get that answer.”

Here’s a list of Twitter’s latest additions announced Monday night:

Sports

  • NFL: While it lost out to Amazon on streaming Thursday Night Football for a second year, Twitter is moving its NFL partnership to programming with live previews and highlights and a weekend show that will have pregame updates.
  • WNBA: The league will start livestreaming games every week later this month during the regular season, with 20 total each year through 2019. Twitter will also also curate the best fan conversations on the platform within the broadcast.
  • MLBAM: Along the the MLB games that began streaming this season, Twitter will have a new three-hour program once a week exclusively on the platform featuring deeper dives and highlights.
  • Stadium: The original program on Twitter will stream 24/7 in the coming months and feature content from collegiate sports, along with highlights, classic games and daily studio programming.
  • The Players’ Tribune: A new live show called #Verified will stream exclusively on the platform, with athletes answering questions from fans while offering insights and hot takes. Interviews will come from athletes such as Karl-Anthony Towns, A.J. Green and Richard Sherman.
  • PGA Tour: While tournaments have already streamed live, the addition will include 70 hours of content across 31 tournaments, along with 360-degree video during The Players Championship this month on Periscope and Twitter.
  • Esports: Twitter will livestream 15 tournaments and have 1,500 hours of online gaming from a number of partners.

News

  • Bloomberg Media: This fall, the news organization is creating a new 24/7 live breaking news network for the platform that will stream news around the world.
  • The Verge: This Fall, The Verge will launch a weekly live show that will reviews and experiments with the latest tech products.
  • BuzzFeed News: The company will create a new morning news show focused on the latest “fire tweets,” along with appearances from reporters and special guests.
  • Cheddar: Starting today, the online financial news company will stream every morning at 9 a.m. from the New York Stock Exchange. Then this fall, it will launch a closing bell show every day as an expansion of the show that began in October.

Entertainment

  • Live Nation: Staring on May 13, Live Nation will launch an online concert series with a livestream of the Zac Brown Band to debut its new album. Other guests will include Train, Portugal and Marian Hill.
  • IMG: IMG Fashion will feature designer and brand relationships with runway shows and behind-the-scenes content during Fashion Week. Starting in September, other content will come from New York, Milan, Paris, London and elsewhere
  • Propogate: “#WhatsHappening” will be a daily live entertainment show that will air during prime-time hours. Content will include pop culture, music, television, celebrities and other trending topics.