The NFL has never been more popular in the world than it is now. Its content reaches more than 200 million unique viewers across an entire season. Its games account for about 31 of the 32 most-watched programs on television. But still, it finds new ways to expand its reach.
Last week, the organization announced a groundbreaking partnership with Twitter that will deliver up-to-the-minute NFL content to its millions of followers on the social platform. The arrangement allows the NFL’s official twitter handle to pump out customized video clips seven days a week that include everything from instant replays from Thursday Night Football to Sunday’s post-game highlights, news, analysis and even fantasy football advice. Each clip will be appended by a 5- to 8-second advertisement.
The deal is a significant step in the right direction for the NFL, which has long rejected the notion of collaborating with a social media platform (especially when so many of its top athletes have landed in hot water because of it).
So why Twitter?
It would seem that Facebook would be the logical partnership, right? The social network has five times the active users of Twitter and has even been looking to move into the television space. But it could be the fact that many of its users are falling out of love with its service. And Twitter, it feels, is the only platform that could impact its viewership across its branded applications.
“(We picked Twitter) because of the nature of their program, of being open publicly and real time ... and really seeing a synergist experience ... we thought this was a great way to start off with something deep with a social partner,” said Hans Schroeder, senior vice president of media strategy and development, via CNET.com.
The NFL currently has around 5 million followers on Twitter, but the organization is targeting a larger engagement due to the separation of 190 million US-based NFL fans and the 100 million people who use Twitter stateside, according to Schroeder.
The hope is to draw in the casual NFL fan and Twitter user by complimenting its television content with custom Twitter clips tapped from the NFL Network and NFL Films.
The news couldn’t have come at a better time for the San Francisco-based web platform, which plans to make its initial public offering this week. The company is currently worth an estimated $15 billion.
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