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Twitter doubles list of original shows with new deals, renewals from MTV to ESPN

BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM Twitter series has extended its agreement with Twitter through the end of 2018. Image used with permission by copyright holder

For Twitter, video content has nearly doubled the numbers of daily viewers in just a year’s time, and the social network is pushing for even more, with a slew of over 30 video deals that range from cooking and politics to gaming and sports. During the Digital Content NewFronts event on April 30, Twitter announced a list of new collaborations, as well as renewals, for the platform’s original and live videos. The new list of originals doubles the number of Twitter Shows from the network’s 16 options last year.

The announcement expands Twitter’s original content while also adding topics sparked by conversation on Twitter, including a show tied to #BlackTwitter and another focusing on women in politics. The content agreements span both live shows and original programming, including entertainment, lifestyle, news, sports, and gaming. While several shows are newcomers, others are deals re-inked for more time on Twitter.

“We’re not guessing, we’re listening. People tell us what they want to see with the conversations they share on Twitter,” Twitter’s Global Head of Content Partnerships Kay Madati said in a statement. “In the past year, we’ve really expanded our efforts with the best publishers and content creators in the world to bring a slate of programming that reflects those diverse content interests.” 

Along with listing new deals across several categories, NBC Universal will also be launching live videos and clips across several categories, including news, lifestyle and pop culture. The list of NBC Universal companies with Twitter video deals now includes NBC, NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, TODAY, and E! News.

New Twitter content for entertainment and lifestyle

  • Ellen Digital Studios: A new “heartwarming” series, called CELEBrate, films what it’s like to have big news delivered by your favorite celebrity. The series follows “deserving folks” as they receive news from a favorite celebrity, along with behind-the-scenes content.
  • Live Nation Concert Series: After delivering live concerts to millions of fans, Twitter and Live Nation Concert’s agreement will expand to include more concerts. Notably, the agreement will stream 20-plus hours of content from Live Nation’s marquee festivals, such as BottleRock and Bonnaroo.
  • Delish: On food holidays from donut day to national fried chicken day, Delish’s Food Day is a celebration of both food and the U.S. culture around the dish.
  • Seventeen: IRL is where Seventeen Magazine’s content comes to live video, everything from celebrity gossip to activism.
  • Comedy Central: The show where Comedy Central meets real-time pop culture trends, Creator’s Room follows the channel’s team as they spin a satirical take on news and trends.
  • BET Breaks: Focusing on an African-American perspective, this weekly show covers pop culture, picking from Twitter’s latest trending discussions.
  • MTV News: MTV will be running a daily take on the trending news, focusing on youth culture.
  • MTV News International: MTV’s original on global news will use celebrity and fan reactions to report on Twitter’s biggest trending events.
  • Will Packer Media: Inspired by what the social media platform calls Black Twitter, I is a 30-minute live show focusing on a diverse set of voices. Produced by Will Packer, the show creates a mix of entertaining and enlightening content.

Twitter’s latest video deals for news

  • BuzzFeed News: AM to DM (@Am2DM) has extended its agreement with Twitter through the end of 2018. The show, which launched last fall takes the morning show and remixes the format for a younger audience.
  • VICE News: Focusing specifically on space exploration, The New Space Race meets the people behind the latest drive for space exploration — all live.
  • The Weather Channel: Pattern is a new style of weather coverage designed specifically for Twitter. The series covers topics like extreme weather and climate change.

Twitter’s new shows highlighting the female voice for #HereWeAre

Four groups all signed deals for content for #HereWeAre, a Twitter initiative for highlighting female voices. Two of the deals are for new series, while one adds to an existing series and another focuses on individual documentary-style content.

  • Huffington Post: Crash The Party is a Twitter exclusive that follows more than 50 women running for office, in different positions and locations across the U.S. Twitter says the exclusive is non-partisan with a human-interest focus.
  • History: Some of History Channel’s Twitter shows will also take on a female focus. One of the Twitter exclusives will focus on the current push for equality.
  • Vox Media: Hosted by Liz Plank (@feministabulous), Divided States of Women (@DSoWomen) is a new live news show with a female focus spanning breaking news as well as special events and interviews. Plank, a Webby-award winner, is also slated to have a set of explainer videos and a vlog.
  • BuzzFeed News: AM to DM’s coverage is also slated to include a segment focusing on women.

Twitter expands sports coverage

  • ESPN: ESPN has two new Twitter deals for SportsCenter Live and Fantasy Focus Live. The first brings breaking sports news coverage live on Twitter, both with Moments and video at @CSLive. Fantasy Focus Live brings the network’s fantasy football podcast to video form on Twitter, with a daily take from Mathew Berry, Field Yates, Stephania Bell, and Daniel Dopp. The new format will also allow fantasy fans to ask questions using Twitter’s live tools.
  • Formula 1: Highlights from Formula 1 are coming to Twitter, starting with the Spanish Grand Prix next month and continuing the nine-show schedule until the championship.
  • MLB: Building on earlier Twitter exclusives, the MLB will be expanding coverage with new shows focusing on the all-star game as well as post-season news.
  • MLS: MLS already has a Twitter deal for highlights, live halftime shows, and some matches, but the latest deal has the league streaming the MLS Homegrown Game and halftime show.
  • Bleacher Report: House of Highlights, which already boasts millions of followers, is airing on Twitter with a reinvented show on sports highlights.
  • The Players’ Tribune: The show #Verified, which centers around fan questions on the NFL and NBA drafts, signed for a second season on Twitter.
  • Barstool Sports: An eight-episode Twitter exclusive, Barstool Live is a new show offering insight on some of the biggest sporting events in the U.S. with Pat McAfee, Dean “Big Cat” Katz, and sports writer PFT Commenter. 
Players’ Tribune’s show, #Verified, which centers around fan questions on the NFL and NBA drafts, signed for a second season on Twitter Image used with permission by copyright holder

Twitter expands originals on gaming

  • Call of Duty World League: As Call of Duty gamers compete for a $4.2 million combined prize, the Call of Duty World League is slated to share highlights on Twitter. The show is expected to cover the remainder of the competition’s schedule to the championship in August.
  • The Game Awards: Back for the third time, The Games Awards, an awards show noting top video games and esports, will be live on Twitter in December.
  • GameSpot: GameSpot will help fans that can’t make it to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and San Diego Comic-Con see the show floor with live content every day of the events.
  • IGN: Fans looking for more E3 coverage can find 30-plus hours of content from the show streamed by IGN live, along with pre and post shows and expert analysis.
  • Intel Extreme Masters: Another expansion of earlier live-streaming agreements, the Intel Extreme Masters will have over 700 hours of content this year, including both live-streams and clips.

Along with the list of new content partnerships, Twitter is tapping its creator network, Niche, to build original series for brands with “in-stream video sponsorships.” The original series designed for brands is expected to launch with eight original series.

The platform also shared the launch of Live Brand Studio, a service that helps companies build live videos. The tool gives brands access to a Twitter team of experts for creating a plan from what content to share to analytics.

Digital Content NewFronts continues through May 4 in New York City, an event designed to connect content creators with big brands.

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