The NFL announced yesterday that the league will broadcast ten Thursday Night Football games on Twitter next season. The two sides worked out a deal that will equate to roughly $10 million. Twitter has taken several hits over the last year for their lackluster business model that has resulted in a huge loss in the stock market. To combat that, the social media platform will begin to produce live video content.
This idea makes very little sense. The real question is: how many viewers will this platform provide? Games will still be broadcast on television through CBS, NBC, and the NFL Network. The only real viewers that the NFL is gaining is people who no longer purchase cable packages, and at that point, do these people really want to watch the product? Although, they could attract fans outside of the United States.
Without seeing the layout and design plans for this move, I am skeptical of what they will really be able to offer. The video sharing abilities the website uses now is a small window that displays videos that are typically no larger than five minutes. They could possibly put Periscope to use, but even then, the quality would have to improve a lot to be watchable.
One big aspect the league talked about is the importance of following the product on social media. As it is currently constituted, on mobile devices, a user can not watch a video and continue to tweet at the same time. At that point, the league is losing out on what they are saying is important.
Twitter should take a shot at something with a smaller market or a larger online presence like E-Sports, so they can try to develop an idea of what works well. It doesn’t make sense to just jump right in.
– Mike Masala