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Twitter to Offer More Live Video from NHL, MLB, Olympics

Ben Bowman

Twitter is a great place to go to celebrate or commiserate what’s happening with your favorite sports team. Now, the platform is increasingly merging conversation with content. Today, Twitter announced expanded agreements with MLB and the NHL to include real-time highlights and live look-ins at games.

NBC’s Olympics team will also create original live video shows for Twitter, including “Talkin’ Tokyo.”

This comes a day after the WNBA announced it would broadcast a dozen games on Twitter. The package, available via @WNBA, will feature in-game commentary from basketball insiders, influencers, and WNBA legends. The Twitter broadcasts will include fan tweet overlays, Q&As, trivia, and polls for fans to vote on certain elements of the game.

Last month, Twitter struck a deal for supplemental content surrounding the Professional Fighters League. Through the partnership, fans will have insider access to PFL fighter training content from the regular season bubble, live PFL fight night content, the pre-fight walk-out, real-time highlights, post-event PFL fighter press conference, and “The Round Up,” which is a live feed where influencers will host a chat with fans during commercial breaks while they discuss what just happened in the fights and what they think is yet to come.

Twitter has been experimenting with sports for years. The platform even broadcast an NFL game several years ago. While live-streaming a full game may not be the right fit for the platform, it makes sense to amplify a sport’s reach with these kinds of supplemental video products.

These sorts of deals are likely a win-win for the sports leagues involved. They’ll get the revenue from the live streaming services that carry the games while enhancing the fan experience for those watching the sport with their phone in-hand.

Twitter also benefits from being a preferred location for sports discussion. While Facebook’s algorithm may serve up a knee-jerk sports reaction in your feed several days after the event, Twitter still allows you to sort your feed chronologically, so the reactions come in real-time.

Although yesterday’s TV networks may have regarded social media as a rival, today’s executives seem to be coming around to the idea that online word-of-mouth might be the best kind of advertising.

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