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Twitter Inks Deal to Live Stream Game of Thrones Aftershow


Twitter Inc TWTR will now be streaming the aftershow of the extremely popular series, Game of Thrones (GoT) on its platform as well as Periscope, per media reports.

Reportedly, the micro-blogging site has inked a deal with Bill Simmons’ The Ringer Production to live stream Talk of the Thrones starting this July. The aftershow will contain all recaps as well as live commentary post the premiere of each episode.

Last year, Bill Simmons ran the show called After the Thrones on all digital platforms of Time Warner’s TWX HBO, namely HBO Go, HBO Now and HBO On Demand. However, the deal was reportedly not renewed this year. Simmons eventually took the show to Twitter by renaming it Talk of Thrones.

Simmons was quoted by The Hollywood Reporter saying “We love Game of Thrones and we love the way Twitter is thinking about content right now, so we jumped at the chance to blow out our Thrones show into an interactive multimedia experience — something that reacts immediately to what just happened, almost like a postgame show in sports.” He further added "Nobody is equipped to do that better than Twitter. It's the natural evolution of what we had already established with Chris, Andy, Mallory and Jason." Talk of Thrones will be hosted by Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan from the production house.

The Hollywood Reporter added that the move to Twitter is not surprising as GoT was one of the top 10 hashtags of the past year on Twitter.

Created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, GoT has become a worldwide phenomenon. It is based on the seven-volume novel, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. The seventh season of the series will premiere on Jul 16, 2017 on HBO. It is to be noted that this season will just have seven episodes instead of the usual 10. Both Benioff and Weiss have confirmed that the seventh and eighth season will have 13 episodes in total. The eighth will be the swan song season of this global craze and will comprise six episodes only.

Meanwhile, Twitter is trying to bring more video content to attract ad dollars. Ad revenues contribute the lion’s share of its total revenue. The company intends to capture the opportunity presented by ever-increasing video viewing on social media platforms. Earlier this year, despite failing to win the NFL games streaming rights this year, Twitter was able to offer its users streaming of official NFL video and other exclusive content from the games. Notably, Amazon has won the streaming rights this year.

The company has been signing live-streaming deals with several companies. Last year, it signed live-streaming deals with Bloomberg, PBS NewsHour and BuzzFeed as well as sports organizations like NBA, MLB and NFL. Not only Twitter, given the ad revenue potential, all social media companies right from Facebook FB to Snapchat SNAP are pumping huge resources to increase live video viewing on their platform.

Zacks Rank & Stock Price Movement

At present, Twitter carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

We note that Twitter has underperformed the Zacks Internet Software industry in the last one year. While the stock lost 4.95%, the industry witnessed an increase of 18.12%.

Sluggish user growth, declining revenue growth rate, profitability issues, exodus of top-level employees and the trolling menace have caused bloodbath on the trading front. Focus on live and user-friendly changes to the platform, though headed in the right direction, have not yet yielded the desired results.

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