Twitter's Latest Live Streaming Deal With the NFL Doesn't Include Any Games

The live streaming race trundles on, and sports contracts remain the most contentious point. Tech giants have been fighting fiercely to secure the best sports options, and perhaps the most heavily contested territory has been the NFL. Facebook and Twitter have battled back and forth to get the rights to broadcast NFL content, even Snapchat has gotten involved, but live games aren't always part of the deal.

Such is the case with the new deal Twitter has inked with them, which gives them the right to broadcast a myriad of specially made, exclusive live content, but no actual games. Said content includes a five-day-a-week analysis show in which experts talk over game highlights, pre-game shows before prime-time games and potentially even locker room footage.

It might sound like a bit of a dodgy deal, but the games themselves are being so heavily contested at the moment that securing anything from the NFL is liable to give Twitter more of an edge. They already had the rights to broadcast a lot of NFL content off the back of their last contract, and this new one only strengthens that, especially since their chances of getting broadcast rights for games are facing one very significant roadblock - money.

At one stage, Twitter seemed on track to secure the broadcasting rights for Thursday night football, which would have been huge for them, but then Amazon swept in and threw down a hulking $50 million bid, a sum Twitter couldn't have hoped to match. Twitter would have been a far better platform for Thursday night games, but at some level the NFL are more interested in money, sadly.

What Twitter need to do is convince them that the extended reach they can offer is more valuable than a fat check. The NFL's global reach isn't actually all that impressive. Here in the UK, only Sky Sports really broadcast games on a regular basis, and it's even worst elsewhere in the world. Broadcasting live games on Twitter could change that, but there's still a fairly sizeable flaw with that argument - Facebook.

If Facebook decide to take a serious look at broadcasting NFL games live they will be able to offer more reach and more money, leaving Twitter's pre-existing contracts as their only advantage. This is all very much speculative, but the one certain thing is that live streamed NFL games are going to appear on at least one platform some time in the next year or two. With so many other sports doing it, they can't afford not to.

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