Twitter has won the deal with the National Football League (NFL) to exclusively live-stream the upcoming Thursday night football games. The microblogging site will show the 10 games broadcast by NBC and CBS television to its over 800 million users worldwide on mobile phones, tablets, PCs and connected televisions.

The win gives Twitter the ability to show the games to users around the world, without requiring them to sign in to the service. The company hopes that can help kick-start its slowing user growth and provide new and returning Twitter users with a feature they’ll be able to instantly appreciate.

Twitter will also be able to stream the games via its apps on platforms like Xbox game consoles, and the NFL says it is exploring ways to let Twitter stream the games via its syndication partners, including Google and Yahoo.

Bloomberg reports that Twitter beat out other major players in the tech space, including Verizon (which owns Aol), Yahoo, Amazon, and Facebook.

According to some news sources, Facebook withdrew its bid to live-stream the NFL Thursday games due to disagreement over commercials. The social media giant reportedly wanted an ad-free live-streaming while NFL expected to follow the traditional advertising model to earn revenue, which led to the fallout.

Given Twitter’s slowing growth numbers — the company has plateaued at around 300 million active users — this deal could be a huge boost for the platform. Putting aside its slower growth than networks like Facebook, Twitter is best when paired with live TV. It’s the fine Cabernet to a medium-rare filet mignon.

With the new deal, Twitter can likely see more engagement out of fans who never really cared for Twitter, but came to the platform for some Thursday Night Football.

This is also an important move for the NFL, which has long been the stronghold of cable television. As more and more users cut the cords, the NFL is having to think beyond the cable model to reach as many viewers as possible.

But if you’re a cable kid with a football package, have no fear. The big game will still be available on television and on other parts of the web.

Specifically, Twitter won the global streaming rights to 10 games of the 16 TNF games to air this season. That means that the games will still air on CBS, NBC, and the NFL Network, as well as their respective web sites. That said, (and the others) will only have the right to stream domestically and not worldwide.

This NFL season is going to be interesting one with Twitter's attachment to it.What's your opinion on this deal signing?


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