Twitter, NFL strike content deal

Updated: September 26, 2013, 1:32 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- The NFL struck a deal to show game highlights and other video content on Twitter ahead of the short messaging service's initial public offering of stock.

The deal marks the biggest sports-related commitment to date for the social media giant for its Amplify service. Amplify allows broadcasters to show video clips and ads through tweets that are coordinated with what is being shown on television.

A Wall Street Journal report says the NFL will have a team dedicated to producing "programming" for Twitter users seven days a week, including in-game highlights from Thursday night games on the NFL Network and clips from games on other networks once they have aired. The NFL also will show content including news, analysis and fantasy advice.

The NFL hasn't granted ESPN rights to tweet clips from "Monday Night Football," the report said, citing a person familiar with the matter. The NFL will be able to tweet highlights of Monday games once they air.

ESPN has been embedding highlights of college football games this season, each with an eight-second Verizon Wireless ad.

Verizon is the premier sponsor for the NFL agreement and has exclusive sponsorship rights for Amplify ads during the Super Bowl in February, the NFL said. Currently, Verizon subscribers have the NFL Mobile app, and DirecTV Sunday Ticket subscribers can get football content on their phones, but any Twitter user would be able to see the Amplify highlights.

The initiative with the social media service is a huge step for the NFL, which has for years been protective of its digital distribution rights. It's a move that will expand the audience that can view NFL content on mobile phones. EMarketer Inc. estimates Twitter will generate close to $1 billion in ad revenue globally in 2014, up from $583 million this year.

EMarketer Inc. estimates Twitter will generate close to $1 billion in ad revenue globally in 2014, up from $583 million this year.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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