Looks like Twitter is going into live sports broadcast in a big way as the microblogging platform beamed live images of ongoing Wimbledon tennis tournament in England. Per Recode and a couple of other sources, the company is running a test to assess its level of preparedness ahead of Thursday night NFL games.
Twitter’s $10 million broadcast deal with the NFL is expected to kickoff soon, especially with the season scheduled to begin in August. Wednesday’s live streaming is the clearest indication of what to expect when Twitter eventually goes into the business part of sports live streaming.
Wimbledon is one of the most watched sports tournaments in the world—and what a way to start its test-drive. In what looked similar to YouTube and Twitch’s style of live broadcasting, Wimbledon’s official Twitter account tweeted live pictures along with commentaries on the side.
In a statement sent to Recode by Twitter, the company said:
“Twitter is increasingly a place where people can find live streaming video, and that includes exciting sporting events like Wimbledon. This livestream is an extremely early and incomplete test experience, and we’ll be making lots of improvements before we launch it in its final form.”
Live streaming of Wednesday’s games can also be viewed here along with opportunity to post tweets and join in the discussion with other Twitter users. A few comments on the page showed that fans are already warming up to the idea of live sports streaming on Twitter, especially with the NFL new season scheduled to begin next month.
From observations, the tweets can’t be filtered to show only those you follow. There is nothing to worry about since this is just a test-drive and Twitter might yet make some more changes and additions before the service finally goes live probably from August and subsequently.
While no rewind feature has been made available for the live streaming of the games, you can either pause or mute the stream if you choose to. Twitter also provide links to @ESPN and @Wimbledon; two companies associated with the live broadcast of the games.
Twitter is not the first social network company that has partnered with the NFL—two years ago, Facebook signed and sealed a partnership with the game organizers to beam live games. The deal would give Facebook the right to beam short clips from the games. The deal signaled Facebook’s intention to compete bigtime with YouTube and other video streaming services. The partnership deal with the NFL was signed towards the end of the 2014 season, with plans to evaluate feedback from all parties.
“This is a small video sponsorship test, and we will be evaluating how people, publishers, and marketers respond to this kind of co-branded video content on Facebook,” a Facebook spokeswoman said at the time.
In 2015, YouTube beamed the Super Bowl XLIX for free on a particular weekend as Google agreed a deal with the National Football League. As part of the deal with the NFL, Google will be allowed to sell ads against the league’s information and clips, and also share revenue with the NFL. Google will also be able to promote the NFL on its video streaming site YouTube as well as other places as part of the deal, reports Recode at the time the news was reported.
Sport lovers on Twitter are in for a wonderful time ahead of the NFL season next August; and live streaming of Wimbledon 2016 is a taste of what to expect.
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