Twitter is increasing its commitment to being a dominant player in live sports programming. At yesterday’s Digital Content NewFronts presentation, the company announced it had secured a half dozen live streaming sports partnerships with the NFL, MLB, PGA Tour and WNBA.
For starters, Twitter is teaming up with MLBAM to develop an exclusive three-hour whiparound show which will feature live look-ins on MLB games. The program will include real-time discussion on live action and trending social media topics.
Despite losing the NFL’s streaming rights to Amazon for the 2017 season, Twitter has struck a deal to provide live pregame video and video on-demand highlights for primetime games such as Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football. The NFL will also have daily programming available on the platform Sunday to Thursday featuring talent from the NFL Network.
The WNBA deal is a little different because unlike the NFL agreement, it includes live streaming of its games. The plan is for 20 regular season games to be streamed live on Twitter during the 2017-2019 seasons. The programming is expected to debut in two weeks.
Perhaps the biggest splash made though was when the social media giant revealed plans to launch its own 24/7 multi-network sports channel Stadium. The programming will be provided through a combination of 120 Sports, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Silver Chalice, and will be available digitally, as well as over the air. The company said the launch of the network would take place in the next few months.
In addition, The Players Tribune will work with Twitter to develop a live show which will connect popular athletes to fans by having high-profile players answer fan questions and offer their thoughts on the day’s topics both on and off the field or court.
Twitter also plans to increase its coverage of the PGA Tour, including live streaming the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass during The Players Championship May 11-14. The company announced they’d provide that content via 360-degree video on Twitter/Periscope.