Twitter’s entrance into the live sports streaming market last year went about as well as anyone expected. Twitter lost the rights to Thursday Night Football streaming to Amazon for the upcoming season, but it looks like the social media site now has its eyes on something bigger: live streaming television.
According to reports, Twitter is in talks with several networks to let subscribers watch live TV straight from the Twitter app. The channels would only be available to people who already pay for those channels through a cable subscription, so it’s not like Twitter is starting their ow television service, but the move is still a good one. It’s a space Twitter is familiar with already, as their NFL broadcasts were fairly popular, as was their live streaming of political debates for the 2016 election.
The feature is expected to work similar to how Twitter’s live NFL broadcasts were conducted. A window displaying the event is shown at top, and relevant Tweets are shown either beside or below in real time. Specific networks weren’t announced, but it’s likely to be large cable networks like ESPN, TNT, and TBS. Local broadcast TV would bring a whole new set of rights issues (varying from one city to the next) which are difficult for even services like Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW to obtain.
“Bringing the video forward onto Twitter allows us to give the consumer on one screen the things they’re talking about and a timeline of the best tweets on Twitter at that moment in time,” said Twitter COO Anothony Noto.
As Twitter’s growth has slowed to levels they’ve never seen before, the service has made a big push towards video in recent months. Partnering with TV networks could not only help bring in more ad revenue, the site hopes, but also attract new users to the site.