As Wall Street’s attention is focused on Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZC) and how it plans to utilize its acquisition of Yahoo! Inc. Stock not found YHOO, Twitter, Inc. (NYSE:TWTRC) and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FBC) are quietly moving to become the go to digital hangout for sports fans.
To that end, Monday Twitter said it has struck a deal with Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League to stream live video of games at the rate of one each out-of-market MLB and NHL game per week.
Meanwhile, Facebook said recently it would stream all nine U.S. Olympic basketball exhibition games before the Olympic Games begin.
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So far Twitter seems to be the most involved. In addition to the recently announced deals with MLB and the NHL, Twitter also has a partnership with Campus Insiders to live stream video of numerous college sports and sport programming.
Other agreements include 150 future Pac-12 conference games along with 10 NFL Thursday Football games in the upcoming season. There is also a deal with 120 Sports to air a nightly multisport highlights show, tailor-made for Twitter.
The Role Of Social Media In Sports
With live streaming fast becoming the most popular way to consume television programming, both Facebook and Twitter have seen an opportunity to become much more than a place to talk about sports. They are becoming places to watch them.
It’s a natural partnership. Facebook posts and Twitter Tweets already contain thousands of sports conversations daily. The idea of watching the game on social media while talking about it makes perfect sense.
All Part Of A Media Migration
Sports, especially live sports, make up the tip of a giant broadcast content iceberg. While HD television remains the first viewing choice for most people, even arenas where live sports take place have installed Wi-Fi so fans can interact with each other at events.
Experts agree that as time passes more and more fans will consume sports online. Although the major professional leagues of all sports still eye television as the primary revenue stream it has always been, most are doing their level best to cater to those migrating to streaming and prepare for a future in which Internet-based broadcasting reins supreme.