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Twitter's live NFL debut a good start, but …

Matt Kapko | Sept. 20, 2016
Twitter passed its first big live-football test last Thursday, but the social platform must cultivate more unique value for NFL fans if it hopes to steal them away from traditional TV broadcasts.

"The average audience watching Thursday Night Football on Twitter properties was 243,000 with each viewer watching an average of 22 minutes of game action," the NFL reported. A total of 2.1 million combined worldwide viewers watched Thursday's game on Twitter for a minimum of three seconds with the video 100 percent in view, according to the league.

[ Related: Twitter scores live stream deals with MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL ]

Twitter can currently stream only one game per week, which means diehard NFL fans can't rely on the social network for all games, according to Dawson. "The other challenge is that I don't think Twitter's really providing that much unique value here — the tweet stream that appeared alongside the video wasn't all that compelling, because it seemed to be largely tweets from regular people watching the game," he says. "Twitter needs to curate this feed more proactively, or even offer several options for tweets from professionals or from the viewer's own feed if this part of the experience is to become more valuable."

 

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