Twitter set for 24/7 live sports streaming, new channel in the offing

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Twitter will be playing up its 24/7 sports coverage to grow its user base after the social networking platform has lost Thursday Night Football rights to Amazon.

The Twitter 24/7 will be called Stadium.

Twitter’s stocks have plunged after another weak quarterly earnings report. The Jack Dorsey-run company is attempting to assuage investor fears by playing up its 24/7 sports coverage as a last-ditch effort to grow its user base following the loss of Thursday Night Football to Amazon, Jen Booton has written for sporttechie.com.

Twitter has reported 328 million monthly active users for the second quarter, flat from the first quarter. There is a constant struggle to attract and retain users for twitter even as its major rival Facebook is growing rapidly. Facebook announced that its user base surpassed 2 billion, whereas twitter added a ZERO user last quarter.

Twitter Chief Operating Officer Anthony Noto, on a call with analysts following the earnings report, has played up the company’s efforts to launch a 24/7 sports channel called Stadium.

The proposed channel is a joint venture between Sinclair Broadcast Group, Silver Chalice and 120 Sports. Twitter is currently testing Stadium with plans to launch this with the start of the NFL season, said Noto.

Twitter is optimistic that the increase in live programming will make up for the loss of the NFL Thursday Night Football streaming deal to Amazon.

The launch of Stadium will usher in a new era of streaming at Twitter where there has been a less focus on major league live sports streaming and more reliance on live and taped highlights and analysis videos. Currently, twitter was streaming only select MLB select games.

Last quarter, Twitter reached 1,200 hours of live premium video hours, which was an increase from 600 hours in the quarter prior. That helped it to grow unique viewers to 55 million, a 22% year-over-year increase, with video content directly correlating with an increase in event engagement on Twitter, compared with events that did not have video, according to Noto.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the doubling in streaming hours on the platform in the most recent quarter is a testament to the “value proposition” Twitter can deliver.

In Twitter’s concert-streaming deal with Live Nation, for example, the number of tweets increased 70 percent when there was video of a concert compared when there was no video. The number of authors increased 50 percent and the number of tweets seen increased 4.5-fold. Noto said Twitter saw “similar trends” when it had the Thursday Night Football deal.

Twitter will also create content for smaller leagues. Some of its most recent deals include the WNBA, Women’s National Hockey League and Canadian Football League.

Twitter’s value, said Noto, won’t be driven by headline content or premium content alone, but also by serving these underserved passionate audiences, which includes esports.

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