Twitter wins bidding war to stream NFL's Thursday Night Football games

Twitter has outbid the likes of Amazon, Yahoo! Inc. and Verizon for the right to stream Thursday night NFL games online next season.

Facebook reportedly withdrew from the running days ago because the two sides couldn't agree on advertising.

More details via Bloomberg.com:

The deal gives Twitter a key piece of content to attract mainstream users in its quest to make its service a go-to place to react to and discuss live events. The NFL, aware that a growing number of households are comfortable streaming video over the Internet, is using the digital rights for Thursday night games to reach so-called cord-cutters, as former cable-TV subscribers are known.

The NFL said in a press release that Twitter wills stream 10 Thursday night regular-season games -- the same 10 games that CBS and NBC will broadcast -- and NFL Network will broadcast the other six games on the Thursday night schedule.

Last June, the NFL partnered with Yahoo! Inc. to stream the 2015 Week 7 Bills-Jaguars game that took place in London.

"The NFL has always been committed to being at the forefront of media innovation," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said at the time in a press release. "... [W]e are taking another important step in that direction as we continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving digital media landscape."

Re/Code wrote at the time that "Industry executives familiar with the NFL's negotiations think Yahoo paid at least $20 million for the rights to stream the game; in return it has exclusive ad rights for the game. The league bid out the streaming rights and at least one other tech company made a very competitive offer."

On Tuesday, Re/Code's Peter Kafka writes that, "people familiar with the bidding said Twitter paid less than $10 million for entire 10 game package, while rival bids had been higher than $15 million."

Commissioner Roger Goodell says the NFL is committed to innovation. (USATSI)
Commissioner Roger Goodell has said that the NFL is committed to innovation. (USATSI)

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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