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Twitter wants to stream basketball and soccer after securing NFL deal

by Jacob Kleinman | July 9, 2016July 9, 2016 11:00 am PDT

Twitter logo - Aaron Durand (flickr)

Twitter secured the rights to stream Thursday night football earlier this year. Now the social network is apparently looking to expand even deeper into live sports with potential deals to show professional basketball and soccer games as well.

Recode reports that Twitter is in talks with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Soccer (MLS) to get the rights to stream live games and events, The potential deal also involves cable company Turner, which already owns broadcast rights for the NBA, MLB and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Twitter’s plans to stream live sports on its platform for free may actually be an issue for potential partners, who are used to making money from cable subscriptions.

Cable providers apparently see services like Amazon and Netflix, which already charge a subscription fee, as better partners. That didn’t stop Twitter from securing the NFL deal with a $10 million bid, but it could be an issue as the company tries to offer even more live streaming options moving forward.

The social network can still show ads, but that may not be enough. As a result, the company may end up mostly getting just live pre-game footage and analysis, though some actual games might be included as well.

For cord cutters, the holy grail is still live TV and it looks like Twitter wants to find its niche in the digital distribution game by grabbing as much of that content as possible.

Recode Aaron Durand (Flickr)

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...