Twitter is going global with its push into sports live-streaming after inking a deal to broadcast one of the world’s most prestigious horse races.
Australia’s Melbourne Cup takes place on November 1, with Twitter’s hour-long stream set to include not only the race but also the build-up and post-race analysis.
Announcing the upcoming event on its blog, the company wrote, “Live streaming the race to our logged-in and logged-out audience on Twitter and connected devices, combined with the live commentary and conversation on Twitter, will create a one-screen experience at the centre of the action unlike any other.”
It added that the Melbourne Cup event, also known as “the race that stops a nation,” marks the platform’s first live-streaming deal outside of the U.S.
— FlemingtonRacecourse (@FlemingtonVRC) October 12, 2016
Twitter’s first high-profile sports live-stream went out last month after the company signed a multi-game deal with the NFL thought to be worth around $10 million. Its increasing interest in live-streaming is part of a long-term plan to reignite growth by diversifying into other areas beyond its social media roots.
Its debut NFL game, between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills, reached 2.3 million viewers around the world. The stream reportedly ran smoothly throughout, though a number of users complained afterward that the pictures were sometimes a few seconds behind those on TV.
As with the football, Twitter is set to offer a number of viewing options for those watching the Melbourne Cup via desktop and mobile. For example, you’ll be able to watch the action alongside the flow of related tweets, or make the racing coverage full screen so you can focus entirely on the race without the distraction of the incoming messages. The race coverage will also be viewable using Twitter’s streaming apps for Apple TV, Xbox One, and Fire TV.
For those watching from the U.S., there will be the time difference to consider. Twitter’s Melbourne Cup coverage will begin on November 1 at 2.30 p.m. local time, which’ll be 8.30 p.m. PT and 11:30 p.m. ET.
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