Twitter NFL Stream a Hit, But Fumbles

By Steve Safran 

It really did feel like you were watching the promise of “Social Television.” Thursday night’s presentation (“Broadcast” doesn’t feel right) of Thursday Night Football, streamed via Twitter, received rave reviews. People marveled at the quality and at the experience of watching video alongside a Twitter stream.

Twitter’s Minesh Lad (@MineshLad1), who handles consumer and growth marketing tweeted out a picture of the Twitter NFL “war room”:

So, how did people like having a Twitter stream alongside their football game? Our very unscientific poll (on Twitter, only 14 votes) came back 50-50. People on Twitter generally seemed to like it in theory, but asked for more control – as in being able to see only their friends or more curated feeds.

One mystery remains: What happened at Just hours before the broadcast, we received a press release trumpeting a partnership between Time, Inc. and Twitter that laid out plans to have the Twitter feed embedded in and at The feeds were there. On the game was embedded on the front page, as you’d expect. On it was very hard to find. There was no prominent link to it on the site’s home page. The story announcing the partnership was posted as a sidebar, but there was no link to the video come game time. @Time tweeted the link, so we’re left to wonder if the choice was deliberate or if there was a miscommunication in the editorial departments. (I asked @Time about this on Twitter but got no answer.)

Overall, the experiment appears to have been a success. Here is the schedule for the remaining nine Thursday Night Football games, all of which are scheduled to be on Twitter and its partner sites:

  • Week 3, Sept. 22: Houston Texans at New England Patriots
  • Week 5, Oct. 6: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
  • Week 6, Oct. 13: Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers
  • Week 7, Oct. 20: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
  • Week 11, Nov. 17: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
  • Week 13, Dec. 1: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
  • Week 14, Dec. 8: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
  • Week 15, Dec. 15: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
  • Week 16, Dec. 22: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles