Twitter is already a hub for passionate rants during sports games, but it looks like the popular online social networking service is taking the conversation to the next level. With over 300 million active users, the social media app will now live stream Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL) games to for its users, free of charge. What’s the catch? Advertisement.
According to Tech Crunch, MLB games will be live streamed for free worldwide, while NHL games will only be made available throughout the United States. However, out-of-market viewers will also have the opportunity to watch the live streams without the need of being logged into an account. Like most great free online content, Twitter says it will be selling ads to go with their once a week live streams.
— Twitter Sports (@TwitterSports) July 25, 2016
“Twitter is the fastest way to see what’s unfolding in MLB and the NHL,” said Twitter’s chief financial officer, Anthony Noto. “MLBAM has pioneered streaming live digital video and we could not be more excited to partner with them on live games as well as ‘The Rally’, giving our audience the live sports events they are already talking about on one screen on Twitter.”
Twitter has also announced its very own nightly sports highlights show, The Rally. The Rally will also be only available to those within the United States.
“Twitter has long been a great partner and platform for both baseball and hockey fans as they follow their favorite teams and players every day,” said MLBAM’s executive vice president of business, Kenny Gersh. “We know fans will embrace what this wide-ranging partnership brings – expanded and reliable access to live baseball and hockey and the introduction of Twitter’s first daily live highlight show delivered intuitively to a platform where they’re actively engaged with the games.”
Will this mark the start of a new social media/television merger, or is this a threat to television networks?