Twitter hits jackpot with successful, historic Thursday Night Football live-stream experiment

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Photo: Impactbumper via Flickr.com

The New York Jets beat the Buffalo Bills, 37-31, on Thursday Night Football, but the biggest winner of the night was the social media site live-streaming the game — Twitter.

For the first time ever, Twitter was in the driver’s seat in broadcasting the game to NFL fans around the world.

The agreement between the social media site and the NFL was reached back in April, as the sides agreed Twitter could live-stream 10 Thursday Night Football games this season in an effort to expand fan outreach, since many fans are on social media while watching games anyways.

The end result was nothing short of a major success.

The stream was nearly flawless, easy to find, and in crystal-clear HD quality.

It was broadcast the same way a regular game would have been broadcast, including commentary from Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, but the stream also included a feed of tweets other viewers were sending during the game.

This part was a fun focal point because it was exciting to see what everyone else watching the game was thinking, especially fans of the team’s playing.

Whenever Matt Forte broke loose for a big gain or Ryan Fitzpatrick found Eric Decker or another receiver, Jets fans cheered and Bills fans scolded their defense.

And then vice versa when Marquise Goodwin burned Darrelle Revis for an 84-yard touchdown.

Overall, the initial reception of the stream was that it was a hit, and given that there are some even more intriguing Thursday night matchups coming up on Twitter’s live stream schedule, things can only get better.

The rest of the games Twitter will be live-streaming this year are below, per an article from Time.com.

  • Week 3; Sept. 22: Houston Texans at New England Patriots
  • Week 5; Oct. 6: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
  • Week 6; Oct. 13: Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers
  • Week 7; Oct. 20: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
  • Week 11; Nov. 17: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
  • Week 13; Dec. 1: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
  • Week 14; Dec. 8: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
  • Week 15; Dec. 15: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
  • Week 16; Dec. 22: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

All of those games have the potential to turn into classics, and anyone in the world will be able to watch. You don’t even need a Twitter account to live-stream the games.

Since live-streaming appears to be the way of the broadcast future, Twitter needs to make sure they keep their receipt — they just hit the jackpot.

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