NFL streaming games live on Twitter Should CFL try it?

The NFL is really ramping up it's digital and social media outreach. Tonight's Jets-Bills game will not only be on NFL Network and CBS in the USA (CITY and Sportsnet One up here) - but the game will also be live streamed on Twitter.

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For the first time, fans of Thursday Night Football can turn to Twitter to livestream the game wherever they are. The NFL-Twitter deal marks one of many high-profile sports league content distribution contracts with social media networks, a new strategy to reach younger, digital-minded viewers.

"As your audience diversifies, as their viewing habits diversify, your distribution models have to follow," said Elizabeth Lindsey, Wasserman Media Group's managing partner of brands and properties. "You went from prime time broadcast to cable. You went from online viewing to mobile apps. Now we're getting to social."

Wasserman, a sports marketing and talent management agency that has brokered advertising deals for all the major sports leagues in the U.S., said there's a fragmentation in the media landscape as more people lean on smartphone and mobile technology. It's forcing the leagues to use different ways to reach younger fans who may have cut the cord, both to ensure the popularity and advertiser desires to target millennials.

"We as a society have increased the amount of time we spend every day consuming media," said Zack Sugarman, vice president of digital for Wasserman. "While there is a dip in broadcast watching, we're more than making up for it in streaming or social consumption. [Livestreaming] isn't cannibalizing, it's additive."

Wasserman's Lindsey said Thursday Night Football in particular has the largest millennial audience out of the weekly NFL games, with 70 percent of viewers in the 18-to-34 year-old range. While broadcast can help advertisers reach a broad audience, social media companies' ability to get more insightful data on its users can advertisers with a better understanding of when to run their ads, she said.

"TV can give you ratings and the estimated number of people," Wasserman's Sugarman said. "With social platforms and [over-the-top], you are getting so much more info on the fan consumer than you can get internally and for brand partners looking to come in. They have the tracking ability to know what everyone's watching, when they are watching, and what they like and what they don't. The data insights is a huge part of why this trend is taking off, and you'll see more of it."

Is social media live streaming going to be in the CFL's future at some point in an effort to attract those young fans?
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"You don't need a Twitter account to watch the game, and it will be available in every country in the world except for Canada.This kind of global reach was one of Twitter's selling points when it struck the deal in the first place."

Rogers blacked it out on twitter in canada...

I'm going to get into twitter to check it out tonight they say it will be alongside tweets wonder if its fan tweets and if it is censored

One more reason for me to cancel my Rogers cable subsription albeit the only real league I truly care about is the CFL and like to watch that live and easy on our big screen TV. hmmm…

Haven't you cancelled it 1000 times already? And i been away from there a while but Hamilton has Rogers cable?

Rogers bought out Shaw here in hamilton who had bought out Mountain Cablevision previously. All 3 over the years and presently give a very good price when you bundle phone, Internet and basic cable which includes TSN so I'm good with that for now. Don't even own a cell phone so don't need that service.

This is the future of broadcasting but I can see why Rogers would black it out as this is the only evening they have the NFL rights.

Yahoo (now part of Verizon) did some of the London based games but only available outside of the respective home markets.

What I’d like to know is: why is this in the main CFL forum and not in the off topic or other leagues and sports forums ?

Rogers knows Canada already has its own football league and probably blacked-out the NFL game on twitter to help preserve the CFL, plus Sportsnet needs all the TNF viewers they can get (similar to ESPN2 blacking-out the CFL on ESPN3 to maximize their TV ratings). The NFL ratings were pretty bad last year for TNF. And please don't dredge up the American numbers, they mean nothing in Canada. Different country. Different football league. Canada is CFL country! :thup:

This has nothing to do with the CFL. So why is it on the CFL forum? Maybe the original poster suffered some head trauma.

I agree. Our resident Rogers/NFL/BJ's/TFC/MLS/Raptors apologists love to rub it in faces of the loyal CFL fans who read this forum for CFL happenings...not "Other" league's trifle. I do believe Pat had good intentions to alert the CFL about up-and-coming trends in the media, but if the mods are on the ball they still should move this thread to the "Other" forum.

The CFL - particularly in the Toronto market has had trouble attracting young fans. Young people do EVERYTHNG on social media. They spend more time looking at screens on mobile devices and i-pads etc. in various social media apps then watching TV screens.

The NFL apparently gets that - and hence this foray into social media after the Yahoo experiment last year.

Will TSN/Bell Media ever allow the CFL to stream a game on a social media app that you don't need a paid subscription for in Canada - as more and more young people shun watching TV the way most of us dinosaurs still do?

The article I linked described the reasons the NFL are trying this - and those very same reasons hold true up here. As the original poster I thought it obvious a discussion around that was the reason for posting this - but I guess you have to explain everything to some people around here. :roll:

So I've gone back to edit the title of the thread to make that clearer.

In agree it's good to look into it the context of how the CFL can adopt.

Sadly in the short-term, I don't see it happening unless Bell comes out with an equivalent to Sportsnet Now.

The NFL has built additional inventory where these games can be tested out. Thursday night and the extra early Sunday starts from London are ideal places to roll it out. Unless a 10th team can spawn quickly for a 5th game to broadcast each week, there's simply no room for it unitl the current TSN contract expires.

Short term, I think the only place the CFL can go with this is the international (non Canada or US) market.

Early rave reviews for the live stream of tonight's football game on Twitter.

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Twitter's game stream has been free of major glitches, and the quality seems to rival HD even on bigger screens. It's also very easy to find the stream -- it's the first item in the Moments section of the Twitter app.

Most users praised the service and shared their excitement over the new way to watch games.

Others suggested Twitter stream more live sporting events.

"Honestly, watching football on Twitter just means Twitter is the only thing I need in my life," said Twitter user @_Levantine.

Several people used Twitter's success to make jabs at other streaming services, implying that they could be glitchy or slow. "ESPN could learn a thing or two from Twitter. This stream is on point," said Twitter user @Shavertz.

One user suggested a way to tailor the game streaming service.

"The game streaming and functionality is cool. They should make it so you can switch to just see tweets from your team..." said Twitter user @MattFink86.

It's not year clear how many viewers tuned into the stream, but it's unlikely the number will rival those who watched the game on TV. One user, though, poked fun at the fact that he was watching the game on his phone instead of the TV he was sitting in front of.

I suspect we quite soon will see more and more of this with live sports.

It seems the only negative I've been reading so far is that the streaming Twitter feed was delayed compared to the TV feed - and sometimes comments - which on Twitter load more or less instantly - sometimes for some people could be slightly ahead of the streaming picture.

But otherwise good comments like these.

I was surprised at how easy it was to jump into the game on a mobile phone. I didn’t need to download a new app or authenticate with my pay-TV provider, two major obstacles for me (and I imagine others) whenever I consider streaming something to my phone. I watched the first half of the game on my commute home from work — including a grocery store run — which is something I will probably do every week now but never did before.
I turned on my Apple TV, I clicked on the Twitter app, I clicked again on the box with the game, and then I was watching the game. That's pretty cool! I didn't have to tell Twitter who my cable company was, and I didn't have to enter my Twitter credentials, either. I just got to watch the game, and it looked pretty good, most of the time. Definitely as good as watching it at a bar. Good job, Twitter.
I don't suspect we'll see this anytime soon with a CFL game - but I'm sure this sort of thing will be part of the CFL viewing experience at some point down the road.

Thursday night games are on City tv (at least last nights) which you can get with an aerial. As long as you can get the TV reception, no blackout.

Might be interesting for the CFL to try it though.

Try what? do you mean give away their broadcasts for free? that’s not going to happen. The CFL sold it’s broadcasting rights to TSN until 2022
Over the air is great if you live in a city like Toronto or Hamilton and you can get a HD antenna. If you are further east or north you will likely get a fuzzy weak signal.
With TV stations having falling revenues and with the internet there is a push to eliminate the over the air broadcasts.
Almost everyone has the internet and there will be a lot more streaming over the internet, that’s the future.
It’s like 34 million Canadians or 99% of households have the internet but only 400k receive their TV over the air.

The Forbes article on the Twitter live stream actually comes right out and tells sports fans to 'Commence cable cutting!'.

Some other comments

“It was a marquee moment for sure,? says Andrew Miller, CEO of FootballNation, a football content site that recently acquired the user base of mobile sports video app Fancred. “It will be one of those ‘I remember where I was when’ moments. Others have live streaming and social but the intersection of live streaming and user social interaction and community for sports arrived last night.?
Where things are headed - with perhaps the NFL leading us there .....
Twitter has steep competition in that goal: its rival Snapchat debuted this season an official NFL Discover channel, which includes original content (stories, behind-the-scenes footage, highlights) created by NFL Network for Snapchat. Since those aren’t full games, the two can certainly coexist, but few people are going to use both at once, and there is data that shows young people may prefer bite-sized quick clips to watching a full game. And Facebook debuted a Sports Stadium section this year for fans to post in real-time as they watch games.
Twitter’s livestream looked crystal clear. That’s no surprise: Bam Tech, the video arm of Major League Baseball, provided the back-end streaming technology. Bam Tech has done the same for platforms like HBO Now, WWE and PGA Tour, and it’s the reason Disney recently took a 33% stake in Bam Tech for $1 billion.

The experience—with the same commentary you’d hear if you were watching on CBS, and usually the same ads—is nearly the same as if you were watching on television. And users were able to watch on a phone, a tablet, a desktop computer, or through a connected TV on AppleTV, Amazon Fire, or Xbox One using a new Twitter app.

Note that Disney (owners of ESPN) - are involved too.

It will be very interesting to see just how fast how we watch live sports changes.

The CFL has already had a foray into social media if YouTube can be called that.

CFL to livestream Grey Cup playoff games on YouTube, but not in Canada
Ian Hardy November 6, 2015

Are you a big CFL fan but live outside of North America? Well, YouTube is going assist in making your Grey Cup dreams come true.

The Canadian Football League announced today that all of its 103rd Grey Cup Playoff games — such as the Eastern Semi-Final, the Western Semi-Final, the Eastern Final, the Western Final, as well as the Grey Cup — will be livestreamed through its YouTube channel to 150 countries around the world.

“This is an important step forward as we look to expand our global reach. This makes our biggest game and one of our country’s cultural milestones available to Canadian expatriates and sports fans in general in almost every corner of the globe,? said Jeffrey L. Orridge, commissioner of the CFL, in a statement sent to MobileSyrup.

This is apparently history in the making as it will be the first time in North America that a professional major sports league has broadcast its playoff games for free via YouTube.

However, Canadians will be blocked out of the online experience and will only be able to watch the games on TSN and RDS, or on their mobile device, due to the league’s content agreement with Bell Media. Our friends south of the border are also locked out of viewing the playoffs through YouTube, and will be able to watch it all unfold on ESPN2.

The Grey Cup championship game will be played in Winnipeg on Sunday, November 29.