Twitter nabs streaming rights to Thursday night NFL games

In its first big streaming deal, Twitter reportedly beat out Amazon and Verizon for the streaming rights.

(Image: File photo)

Twitter has gained the rights to stream Thursday night NFL games on its website starting with the 2016 season, marking the social network's first major streaming deal.

Twitter will stream the games for free around the globe, without requiring viewers to sign-in.

"Twitter is where live events unfold and is the right partner for the NFL as we take the latest step in serving fans around the world live NFL football", NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, said in a prepared statement.

"There is a massive amount of NFL-related conversation happening on Twitter during our games and tapping into that audience, in addition to our viewers on broadcast and cable, will ensure Thursday Night Football is seen on an unprecedented number of platforms this season."

Twitter competed against other tech titans for the streaming rights, including Amazon, Verizon, and Facebook. The NFL says it didn't choose the highest bidder.

Recode reports that CBS (CBS Interactive is the parent company of ZDNet) and NBC have the broadcast rights to the game with their own advertising inventory in a $450 million deal. As such, Twitter, who reportedly paid $10 million, will be rebroadcasting their feed with a small set of its own advertisements to web users.

Twitter and the NFL have partnered in the past for highlight clips of Thursday night football, as well as pre-game Periscope broadcasts from players and teams.

"This is about transforming the fan experience with football. People watch NFL games with Twitter today," Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, said. "Now they'll be able to watch right on Twitter Thursday nights."