After winning exclusive digital rights to stream 10 of the National Football League’s (NFL) Thursday Night Football games this fall, Twitter is reportedly in talks with several other sports leagues — as well as their cable network partners — in order to air more live, sports-related content across the platform.
Twitter is currently in talks with the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Soccer (MLS), and cable network Turner (which has already locked up television rights to the NBA, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament), according to Recode. Twitter is reportedly seeking both live game footage as well as pre- and post-game analysis — though Recode, which was first to report the still-ongoing talks, notes that Twitter is likely to “nab more fringe content than game content.”
Earlier this week, Twitter piloted the streaming sports concept at Wimbledon — though that stream didn’t carry any live matches (which were exclusively available on ESPN) and instead focused on interviews, commentary, and updates. “This live stream is an extremely early and incomplete test experience,” the company told Variety in a statement, “and we’ll be making lots of improvements before we launch it in its final form.”
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Twitter has made several other updates to its video experience in recent weeks. Last month, the company — which said that video tweets have increased by 50% over the past six months — made it possible for users to share longer videos. Previously, consumer uploads were limited to 30 seconds, but now all users can post 140-second videos — a nod to the company’s famed character count. At the same time, the company announced a new video browsing experience, whereby a fullscreen interface launches when users tap on native videos, with suggested clips appearing below.