Skip to main content

Rights to live streaming NFL Thursday Night Football go to Twitter

super bowl
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Since the beginning of this year, a number of major companies including Amazon, Facebook, Verizon, and Yahoo have been said to be competing for the rights to live stream the National Football League’s Thursday Night Football. Now the issue has been settled, and it’s not any of the above companies who walked away with the rights.

Twitter has won the live streaming rights to Thursday Night Football, according to a report from Bloomberg. The social media company was bidding against Amazon, Verizon, and Yahoo, while Facebook dropped out of the bidding last week. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell later confirmed that Twitter would stream 10 games in 2016.

While this may seem a strange pairing at first, there is logic here. After all, Twitter does already have live video streaming technology in the form of Periscope, which it acquired last year, and it also has worked with the NFL in the past.

Last year Twitter inked a two-year deal with the NFL for sharing images and highlights of games on the service throughout the 2015 season, including the Super Bowl. For its part, the NFL’s social media team shared infographics and game recaps, encouraging discussion of recent games.

The NFL is aware of how quickly live streaming is catching on, and wants to stay ahead of the curve. Last October, the league partnered with Yahoo to live-stream the first-ever NFL game, drawing in more than 15 million viewers who watched on more than 33 million devices.

“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,” Goodell said in a 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. This agreement also provides additional reach for those brands advertising with our broadcast partners.”

For Twitter, the deal helps in a number of ways. First, this could be the first step toward the company becoming a major video player alongside Google and Facebook. Second, it could also draw a significant number of new users to the service, seeing as the NFL and Thursday Night Football are home to the most-watched sport in the U.S. Whether people watch the games on Twitter or not, NFL-related discussions on the service will likely skyrocket.

Updated on 04-05-2016 by Kristofer Wouk: Updated to add confirmation from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell

Editors' Recommendations

Kris Wouk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kris Wouk is a tech writer, gadget reviewer, blogger, and whatever it's called when someone makes videos for the web. In his…
NFL games today: schedule, channels, live streams for January 7
Kyle Pitts of the Atlanta Falcons makes a touchdown catch.

The end is here for the 2023 NFL season. Week 18 marks the final weekend of the regular season. In the AFC, four teams – the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cleveland Browns – have clinched playoff berths. In the NFC, five teams  – the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, and Los Angeles Rams – have punched their tickets to the postseason.

Fourteen games will be played on January 7. A few playoff spots are up for grabs, including the No. 2 seed in the AFC, which will be awarded to the winner of the contest between the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins. Fans can purchase NFL Sunday Ticket through YouTube TV and watch every NFL game for $39. Below, check out the NFL Week 18 schedule, plus channel and live-stream information.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints start time, channel, and live stream

Read more
New York Jets vs. New England Patriots live stream: watch the NFL for free
Aerial view of the fans inside Gillette Stadium.

It's Week 18 in the NFL season, meaning teams only have one more game left on the schedule. One of those games features the New York Jets (6-10) taking on the New England Patriots (4-12). Coverage on Fox begins at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT on January 7. Chris Myers and Robert Smith will call the game from the booth, with Jen Hale reporting from the sidelines at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Will this be Bill Belichick's last game as the coach of the New England Patriots? That's the biggest storyline on Sunday since the Jets and Patriots cannot make the postseason. Both teams want to win, however, a loss will help improve that team's draft position in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Jets have lost 15 straight games to the New England Patriots, the longest active head-to-head streak. The last Jets' victory came in December 2015, with New York edging out the Pats in overtime by a score of 26-20.

Read more
WWE Friday Night Smackdown live stream: How to watch it for free
watch wwe royal rumble 2023 live stream online featured image 2

It's Friday and you know what that means: WWE Friday Night Smackdown. If you're already planning on tuning in, like millions of others, then you'll want to pay close attention. We'll explain all the ways you can watch online. There's even a way to access a free (and legal) WWE Smackdown live stream for new viewers -- or rather, viewers new to one of the live TV streaming services we've outlined below, all of which have access to Fox, the official broadcaster for this event in the U.S. So if you're ready to watch WWE Friday Night Smackdown and are looking for the best streaming service for it, read on:
Watch the WWE Friday Night Smackdown live stream on Sling TV

Sling TV is a great way to cut the cord while still being able to access live TV content. Most importantly for WWE Friday Night Smackdown fans, it offers access to Fox in select markets. All you need to do is sign up to Sling Blue, with the first month priced at just $20 before it rises to $40 for subsequent months. Besides offering WWE Friday Night Smackdown, you also get access to 39 live TV channels including Fox Sports 1, USA Network -- where Friday Night Smackdown will be moving in the near future -- NFL Network, and a bunch of news stations too so you can keep informed. There's also 50 hours of DVR storage so you can catch up on shows you miss live. The channel selection is smaller than that of the other live TV streaming services on our list, but if you don't wish to pay for dozens of extra channels you're not going to watch, Sling TV is a fine choice.

Read more