SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- The social media site that made the hashtag part of our vocabulary now has their sights set on hash marks. Twitter has agreed to terms with the NFL to stream Thursday Night Football starting this fall.
The deal is surprisingly cheap, at least in NFL terms. Twitter threw down around $10 million for the rights to stream 10 games. That's compared to ESPN paying more than $111 million per game for Monday Night Football and the nearly $20 million that Yahoo shelled out to stream just one game last season.
Part of the reason for the bargain price is that Twitter will only sell ads within the spots usually reserved for local affiliates while showing the TV networks' ads as normal.
But this move wasn't as much about money for the NFL as it was about extending their reach. The deal allows the NFL to connect with a younger audience; people who've shown a preference for watching content via the Internet as opposed to cable.
As for Twitter, the deal allows them to grow their user base, which has recently been flat and, in some cases, even negative.
The news even got Commissioner Roger Goodell in the tweeting spirit as he posted the news on Twitter Tuesday, his first post since September of 2014.
Thankfully the commish has plenty of time to get up to social media speed between now and fall.