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Twitter's fantastic live NFL stream turned this recluse into a raving football fan

Brad Chacos | Sept. 19, 2016
Twitter's first NFL Thursday Night Football stream was a fantastic experience.

Finally a cord-cutting NFL fan can watch some games! #TNF

— Bryce Herman (@bzherman) September 16, 2016

The stream also allowed others to watch the game when they’d normally have to skip it.

Not everybody enjoyed the format, but the experience truly drew me in. I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of #TNF-tagged tweets I sent out last night alone surpassed the total number of NFL-related tweets I’ve ever made.

Shanking the kick

That said, the experience wasn’t quite perfect. About halfway through the night, I remembered that I was drowning my normal followers in #TNF tweets (after I lost a few). Fortunately, I realized that the live tweet feed also included tweets that began with a username, which Twitter hides from the feeds of your regular followers. From there on out, I prefaced my #TNF tweets with the @twitter handle to stop annoying (and losing) my online pals.

The Twitter stream also featured a limited number of commercials—forcing the same commercials to repeat, which became very irritating, very quickly.

To be fair, that’s a common problem in sports streams, which—Super Bowl aside—never show the ads you’d see in a traditional TV broadcast. And as repetitive as that Jack Reacher commercial was, it beat the static, muzak-playing ESPN splash screen displayed during Monday Night Football streams.

The Twitter stream’s greatest strength was also its more glaring weakness, however. The sheer volume of the live tweet feed felt somewhat overwhelming at times. It truly was a firehose.

More crucially, while the lack of abusive garbage proves that the feed had some level of curation, I think it could stand to use a little bit more. For example, this humble New Englander was able to sneak some blatant pro-Patriots trolling in front of the masses. (Note that I was tweeting from my laptop while watching the game on a TV connected to a PC, hence the error message in this screenshot.)

screen shot 2016 09 15 at 9.48.00 pm

 

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