Twitter is intent on bringing more sports streams to its platform in a bid to boost its flagging user base.
A new report claims to have insider knowledge of the deals the social network is currently chasing with rights-holders including the NBA, Major League Soccer, and cable network Turner.
Among the touted partnerships could be more streams of live games in the vein of the exclusive deal between Twitter and the NFL, which will see the platform broadcast a selection of Thursday Night Football games starting in September.
Twitter is facing a few hurdles, however, particularly in regard to monetization, reports Recode. At present, all Twitter can offer its partners is additional revenue from advertising, whereas subscription-based models (like those provided by ESPN and Turner) are generally preferred by the sports leagues.
That may explain why Twitter is targeting those existing rights-holders. Whether or not they will agree to share their live footage with a free digital platform remains to be seen. Twitter may, in fact, only be granted access to stream the additional pre-match and post-game clips that these networks produce, alongside highlight reels. Earlier this week, it streamed footage along those lines from Wimbledon, courtesy of ESPN.
Turner also broadcasts its own eSports league, entitled Eleague, and Twitter has previously revealed that gaming is an area it is interested in. Its rival Facebook is also trying to lure game streamers to its Live video network with the help of professional gamers.
As we saw with its self-professed Wimbledon “experiment,” sports streams on Twitter are a tantalizing prospect for its users, and for the platform itself. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has previously stated that live events are a core part of its strategy, and sports streaming deals would certainly tie in to that vision. After all, Twitter still leads the pack when it comes to second-screen conversation during a major sporting event, despite advances from its rivals. More streaming deals would turn it into a comprehensive sports hub, which would undoubtedly result in more advertising revenue, and maybe even the new users it so desperately craves.
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