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Twitter Makes Smooth Debut With Live NFL Video Broadcast

Twitter Makes Smooth Debut With Live NFL Video Broadcast
  • Twitter users were able to see tweet commentary alongside the video feed
  • Some viewers complained of persistent "buffering"
  • Thursday's match was the first of 10 games Twitter plans to stream

Twitter made a smooth debut with its broadcast of a National Football League game on Thursday, attracting generally positive tweets midway through the matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets.

The CBS live feed marked the first time an NFL game had been broadcast on a social media platform and the event quickly began to trend on Twitter in the United States.

Twitter users on computers and mobile devices were able to see tweet commentary running alongside a video feed that featured the same footage and commentary available on the television broadcast.

(Also see: Twitter Just Became Even More Like a Cable Company)

"In an Uber watching #TNF [Thursday Night Football] on Twitter," tweeted app developer John Shahidi (@john). "The future is cool so far."

Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) tweeted: "Took 5-seconds watching #TNF on [Twitter] to know this is the wave of the future."

Some viewers, however, complained of persistent "buffering" and said that the Twitter video lagged behind the television broadcast. The video on the social media platform at some points was operating on a delay of almost 30 seconds.

"The quality is better than my HD TV, but it being delayed stinks," wrote Twitter user DCBlueStar (@DCBlueStar). "I'll stick to the TV, I reckon."

(Also see: Twitter Partners With Cheddar to Live Stream Financial News)

Available on Twitter's platform worldwide, Thursday's match was the first of 10 games the microblogging site plans to stream as it seeks to make itself a force in mobile video with live events.

Twitter has struggled with user growth and advertising competition, and livestreaming the games gives the social network a new avenue to attract users as it tries to catch up with rivals like Facebook.

(Also see: Facebook Live Gets Touted 2-Person Broadcasting Feature)

Media experts have said the NFL deal helps cement Twitter's position as a venue for live video.

Twitter's arrangement with the NFL comes as sports fans increasingly rely on the internet to watch video at the expense of traditional cable and satellite connections. Many already use Twitter to discuss events as they happen.

The broadcast was also available through Twitter apps on Apple TV globally and on Microsoft Xbox One and Amazon Fire TV in select countries.

(Also see: Twitter to Share Ad Revenue on Videos by US Users)

The NFL previously livestreamed an October 2015 game on Yahoo.

The Twitter video broadcast began Thursday at 7:30 pm EDT.

© Thomson Reuters 2016


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