If you’re still using a television and a cable box or satellite dish to watch your favorite shows or sporting events, like me, you are so yesterday. Kids these days (and plenty of adults) have turned to the Internet for streaming of their favorite programs on a desired basis, as opposed to paying for channels you have no interest in.
Many professional sports leagues have packages you can purchase, such as MLS Live, that allow the consumer to pay a premium and watch the league’s games whenever is best.
Recently, social media site Twitter got in on the action, reaching a deal with the National Football League to stream some of the league’s Thursday night games. Now it appears Twitter is interested in expanding its reach in sports, including Major League Soccer.
According to Recode.net, the company is in talks with the NBA, MLS cable network Turner to acquire digital streaming rights for certain content. It is not clear yet if this would be full matches, as will be the case for the NFL games this fall, or related content such as pre- or post-game shows similar to what Twitter did for this year’s Wimbledon tournament.
It appears the major holdup in these negotiations when it comes to full matches is, as you might have guessed, money. Currently leagues such as MLS charge a subscription fee for the streaming package. For instance, MLS Live costs users $64.99 for a full season of games [currently available at a midseason rate of $49.95]. Because Twitter is a free service, contests would be streamed for free and that revenue would be lost.
For Twitter, this would be a big gain. The company has taken a hit in recent months due to a lack of money coming in. Part of the reason for acquiring the NFL Thursday night rights was to help enhance a product that has been fairly stagnant since its inception in 2006.
There are also rumors that streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon could be interested in these sporting events as well. Both of these companies require a subscription fee for their use, so this could be a more likely option if speculation is to be believed.
For those of you who already use Twitter as a companion for watching live sporting events, this could enhance your viewing pleasure even more in combining everything into one service.
In the near future, will you be watching Columbus Crew SC take on the rest of the MLS through a social media site? It’s a distinct possibility.