Twitter picked up the right to offer weekly out-of-market Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League games for free in the U.S. (Baseball will be available in other still-undisclosed countries.) The schedules will be announced “at a later date.”
In addition, streaming video network 120 Sports — backed by the two leagues plus Time Inc — will produce a nightly show for Twitter called The Rally that will offer the day’s sports highlights. It will probably run for about two hours.
The announcement builds on Twitter’s effort to attract users who will tweet while they watch timely programming. Earlier this month it forged agreements to carry Bloomberg Television’s markets reports and CBSN’s coverage of the Democratic and Republican conventions.
The initiative is important: Twitter’s stock has lost nearly 49% of its value over the last 12 months as investors wondered whether its symbols and protocols are too complicated for those who aren’t tech-savvy — and the format too fleeting for advertisers.
The company will disclose its Q2 earnings and talk to analysts about its progress tomorrow.
The social network company’s CFO Anthony Noto lauds MLBAM for having “pioneered streaming live digital video.” The MLB and NHL games and nightly highlights show will help users cue into “live sports events they are already talking about on one screen on Twitter.”
120 Sports President Jason Coyle vows that The Rally “will combine the production and editorial values of television with the speed and interactivity of digital media.”