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. This past 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.
The league wants to experiment with digital broadcasts to see how they might fit into future strategies. In the meantime, this also offers a new revenue source with digital companies eager to get involved in live sports.
Twitter is paying more than $10 million along with providing promotional opportunities as part of the deal, according to a person familiar with the agreement. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the companies are not releasing the financial details.
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. For NBC telecasts, viewers must subscribe to a cable or satellite provider and log in to "authenticate," as is the case for "Sunday Night Football." CBS has yet to announce its plans for its games.
So far, the audience for NFL streams has been significantly smaller than that for traditional TV.
• A California woman sobbed as she told a jury she still suffers from injuries incurred when she was punched in the face outside a Manhattan nightclub four years ago by Jets star Brandon Marshall. Christin Myles said the wide receiver left her with still unhealed eye injuries, along with neck and back pain that still torment. Myles is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit she filed after the March 11, 2012, encounter.
Wambach admitted to trying drugs in past
Retired soccer star Abby Wambach admitted to once trying cocaine and smoking marijuana some 10 years ago, according to court documents connected to her arrest on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of intoxicants.
The 35-year-old Wambach, who won a World Cup with the U.S. national team last summer, was arraigned Tuesday in Multnomah County (Ore.) Circuit Court. She was not present, but her attorney entered a not guilty plea on her behalf.
In the documents, officers wrote that she first used marijuana at 24 and her last use was at 25. It also states: "The defendant tried cocaine at age 25."
• Arturo Vidal's early header was enough for host Bayern Munich to beat Benfica 1-0 from the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal. … In Tuesday's other quarterfinal, Luis Suarez scored twice to lead host Barcelona to a 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid which went a man down in the 36th minute.
AROUND THE HORN
Gymnastics: Maggie Nichols' bid to make the U.S. Olympic team hit a roadblock when a knee injury forced her to withdraw from Saturday's Pacific Rim championships.
Track and field: 2012 Olympic hammer throw champion Tatyana Beloborodova has been suspended in a doping case, the IAAF said, potentially increasing pressure on Russia's track and field team. Beloborodova, 32, previously served a two-year ban for steroid use in 2007.
Auto racing: Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi is facing serious financial difficulties in Brazil, with authorities seizing trophies and racing cars from his personal museum.
Biathlon: Olympic great Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway put retirement plans on hold to compete for two more years. The International Olympic Committee said it accepted the 42-year-old's decision to resign as an IOC member.