What to Expect from NFL Games on Twitter

By Steve Safran 

Thursday Night FootballThis week, Thursday Night Football will stream on Twitter, a first that will make the NFL available globally and across digital devices. Wherever you can get Twitter, you should be able to stream the Thursday night game between the Jets and the Bills.

There are the obvious Twitter choices: On your computer go to tnf.twitter.com and you can also watch highlights in the “moments” section of the Twitter app. To watch via Twitter on an actual TV, however, you’ll need to download its newest app, which has just come out. It’s for Apple TV, Xbox One and Amazon’s Fire TV. Apple TV owners need the fourth generation of the device—the one that came out last October.

There will be a pre-game broadcast on Periscope, which is owned by Twitter.

This is an ambitious plan, and users should be prepared for quirks. DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket had issues this week with the quality of its streams. Any time a new service rolls out, there’s a chance for quality control issues. And there’s no way of knowing how many people will sample the game through these different platforms.

For Twitter, this is about getting a new advertising revenue stream. Notes The Wall Street Journal:

The NFL game Thursday marks Twitter’s first time selling ads for live sports video. Ad packages for all 10 games range from $1 million to $8 million, according to a company presentation reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. At $5 million—the same price as a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl—an advertiser gets two commercials per game as well as sponsorship around dozens of video clips of coverage per week.

The Journal notes the deal gives Twitter about 15 in-game ad spots.

Over the course of this season, Twitter will show 10 Thursday Night Football games, which are broadcast by CBS, NBC and the NFL Network in a complex sharing arrangement.