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Twitter’s First NFL Live Stream Viewership Peaks over 2M


Twitter Inc.’s TWTR NFL live stream debut went ahead smoothly last Thursday, with an average viewership of 243,000. Average time spent on the platform per viewer was 22 minutes. Further, as per NFL, combined viewership (pregame included) on Twitter peaked at 2.3 million for some seconds. Shares closed up 4.4% to $19.11 on Friday.

New York Jets versus Buffalo Bills was the first of the 10 games that Twitter will be live streaming this season. Twitter had won the NFL rights, outbidding the likes of Facebook Inc. FB and Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN, for $10 million in April this year.

Twitter has been struggling to expand its user base and increase its revenues. The company has been focusing on “live” to turn around its fortunes. This year it signed a variety of streaming deals with the likes of NFL, NHL, NBA, Bloomberg, Cheddar, CBSN, and more. Moreover, to bring in more users for its NFL live stream, Twitter launched an app for Apple TV users worldwide and in select markets for Amazon Fire TV and Xbox One users.

Though Twitter’s viewership for the first NFL game was low compared with 15.4 million TV viewers for the game, the deal is of paramount importance to the company. Through the deal, the company aims to bring in more users, especially millennials. At the same time, it also intends to help marketers to reach the younger demographic through its Amplify program. The company has collaborated with the likes of Anheuser-Busch InBev, Nestlé, Sony Pictures, and Verizon for ad packages for NFL games.

As per media reports, Twitter has apparently sold ad packages for 10 matches in a range of $1 million to $8 million. The deal gives Twitter “15 in-game local ad spots for each game, ads before NFL highlights and sponsored Periscopes, streams on Twitter’s live video app”.

However, as per an analyst, the benefits from NFL will not be enough for Twitter, as the amount of “direct ad dollars involved” will be “relatively” less this year. But with live streaming gaining traction, Twitter can establish itself as a “premiere partner for live streaming” and can benefit from subsequent live streaming of NBA, MLB and NHL. It has also signed a deal with 120 sports and Pac-12 networks to stream collegiate sports events.

At present Twitter carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the tech space is NetApp, Inc. NTAP, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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