NEW YORK — The NFL has picked Twitter to stream its Thursday night games.
When the league negotiated its latest deal for the Thursday package, it decided to sell the streaming rights separately for an "over the top" broadcast. Last season it partnered with Yahoo to stream a game from London that took place on a Sunday morning in the United States.
Only the 10 Thursday night games on CBS and NBC will be streamed through Twitter under a one-year agreement, the NFL announced Tuesday. They will be free worldwide on all devices through the Twitter platform. Viewers will not need to be registered Twitter users.
The NFL Network-only Thursday games are not part of the deal.
Twitter is paying more than $10 million and providing promotional opportunities, the Associated Press reported.
Facebook withdrew a bid to carry Thursday games, apparently because the way it would have had to handle commercials didn't work for the social media network, Bloomberg News reported.
CBS and NBC are paying $45 million per game for the Thursday night package. The networks also own the rights to stream their games in the U.S. through their websites and apps.
The audience for NFL streams has been significantly smaller than for traditional television. The Yahoo broadcast of the Bills-Jaguars game from London in October averaged a worldwide audience of about 2.4 million. A Jets-Dolphins matchup from London earlier that month, which started at the same time, averaged 9.9 million viewers on CBS in the United States alone.
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Around the league: Free agent cornerback Sterling Moore, a Buc last season, signed with the Bills. He had an interception and forced three fumbles in nine starts in 16 games with Tampa Bay in 2015. … The Giants signed fullback Will Johnson and offensive linemen Ryan Seymour and Dillon Farrell. … Broncos offensive lineman Tyler Polumbus announced his retirement after eight NFL seasons. … The Cowboys re-signed defensive end Jack Crawford, who had four sacks in 2015.