It is a twitter world, at least for the National Football League which reached a deal with the social media company to stream 10 CBS and NBC Thursday night games on the site. The NFL has now taken a step that could indicate where sports television is going in the future and it may not necessarily all be on the big screen TV.
This is a no lose situation for the NFL and the league is actually making a million dollars per game off the deal but this could be a very big advance for twitter. Apparently twitter’s growth has stalled and this might give the social media company a needed jolt in a search for new users. Twitter is a graffiti board where comments are encouraged and that is another aspect that might or might not be appealing to the NFL although if you look at both Facebook and twitter during both NFL and college season there is much chatter. All of sports knows that the golden age of cable TV revenue streams is coming to an end. ESPN, the self-described sports leader, is down six million subscribers and when you start to look at the money lost, about $39 million a month or a half billion dollars annually it is hard to see how ESPN will be able to sustain spending money for games at the current rate. NBC Sports has lost about a million subscribers since the beginning of the year and FOX Sports 1 is not doing well. But there is technology out there and that is the next step for the leagues. The NFL better hope that CBS, NBC and FOX still consider the football show the best way to reach young males, 18-34 because the games are an opportunity for advertisers to reach a much wanted audience, the 18-34-year-old males but they are cutting the cable TV cord. The twitter-NFL experiment could usher in a new sports video era.
Republished with permission Evan Weiner for The Politics of Sports Business.