While Twitter’s deal to stream NFL games may not have been a win on the surface (no real upswing in membership or revenue), there might have been other value. According to Twitter CEO and CFO Anthony Noto, more people were engaged on Twitter when it streamed 10 Thursday Night Football contests than when it did not.

Noto told attendees at Recode’s annual Code Conference last week that “It drove more discussion,” and “We increased the number of tweets created with the game versus without the game last year by 2x.”

Noto said tweets on Thursday nights increased from 100 million when the game was on TV to 300-400 million when Twitter streamed it.

If that’s the case, then the deal certainly worked for Twitter. And if more people got engaged, then it bodes well for its Stadium concept where it plans to stream news, sports and entertainment video 24/7. With people engaged on the NFL while it was streaming on Twitter, it speaks well of its future streaming plans.

However, with Thursday Night Football going to Amazon in the 2017 season, that engagement for Twitter will go down. But Twitter has baseball, college football, hockey, concerts, news and various programming that it will stream.

The numbers probably won’t be as big as the NFL, but at least Twitter feels with live sports, people will stay on the service and discuss the games rather than be a third screen.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.