Twitter scores a touchdown as NFL extends their partnership

The social network and the NFL sign a new two-year deal to provide “significantly more” game highlights. That could help the struggling service attract new users.

The NFL and the social network on Monday said they signed anew, two-year deal to will display daily video and other game highlights to fans. The NFL and Twitter have been working together since 2013. The new deal with the NFL will deliver “significantly more” content, including in-game highlights, custom game recaps, breaking news and analysis and archival video, the companies said.

“There is a massive amount of NFL-related conversation our fans, teams and players are having on the platform. Providing the Twitter audience with engaging and authentic NFL content will magnify their social experience throughout the year,” Vishal Shah, NFL’s vice president of media strategy and business development, said in a statement.

Fans will see the new content starting Thursday, when the NFL begins showing its slate of preseason games. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The deal could help Twitter achieve its end-game of reaching a broader, more mainstream audience. On average, about 316 million users actively turn to the site every month, compared with the 1.5 billion people use regularly use Facebook. That puts Twitter at a major disadvantage as it tries to woo advertisers seeking the broadest possible audience. To expand its user base, Twitter has curbed abusive and threatening messages even as it works to make its site more inviting and easier to use. ItsProject Lightning, expected to kick in this fall, could also pull in new viewers by highlighting photos and videos of live, trending events. The NFL deal is likely to be part of that effort.

Twitter is also is the middle of looking for a new CEO. Jack Dorsey, who became interim head of the social network on July 1, said he won’t leave his full-time role as chief of Square, the mobile-payments company he founded after Twitter that’s reportedly getting ready for an IPO. Dorsey on Mondaysaid he bought more than 31,000 shares of Twitter, worth about $875,000 — signaling investors that he has faith in the company’s future.

Twitter’s board has said a new CEO would have to fully commit to the position. The list of people being considered for the job includes Adam Bain, who’s currently Twitter’s head of global revenue.

Glenn Brown, head of Twitter’s Amplify video advertising program, said in a statement that Twitter users can’t get enough of NFL content. The NFL is arguably America’s most popular sport: Last year’s regular season games reached 202.3 million unique viewers, representing 80 percent of all television homes and 68 percent of potential viewers in the country, as according to Nielsen.

“Over the past two years, NFL content on Twitter has seen best-in-class user engagement rates, and the expanded partnership will bolster the fan experience on the platform,” Brown said.

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