Thursday night’s National Football League (NFL) contest may have resulted in the New England Patriot’s 27 to 0 shutout of the Houston Texans, but how did Twitter fare? According to the sports league, Twitter produced an average viewing audience of 327,000, which is a 34 percent weekly increase over its first week. In total, Twitter reached 2.6 million people worldwide.
By comparison, the NFL shared that it had an average minute audience of 17.9 million across all its platforms. In total, 50.5 million viewers watched “all-or-part” of the game coverage from CBS and the NFL Network, with a minimum of one minute viewed.
This is the second week of Twitter’s inaugural season livestreaming the NFL’s Thursday night contests. Last week’s game between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets was seen by a total of 48.1 million viewers on television and 2.1 million viewers on Twitter. With respect to the social media platform, the average audience size of the first game was 243,000, with each viewer consuming 22 minutes of game action.
People watching last week’s Thursday Night Football game on Twitter appeared content with the quality, but a Twitter spokesperson only provided a general statement: “It was exciting to see how the experience played out on Twitter with how fans reacted to the first [Thursday night] football live stream on our platform.”
But, using last week’s numbers as a benchmark, Twitter is likely breathing a sigh of relief as it demonstrates that it can continue to not only keep viewers but bring more on board.
In April, Twitter landed the NFL rights to stream full games, expanding on its previous relationship with the sports league — it already offered video highlights from games. However, this season begins Twitter’s true foray into the world of live sports coverage, and it won’t end when the NFL season does. Twitter has landed deals with Bloomberg, Major League Baseball, Time, Warner Music, and other sports leagues.
Today’s results come as reports surface that potential suitors have expressed interest in buying Twitter. According to CNBC, Twitter may be receiving a formal bid “shortly,” with speculation that Google and Salesforce are said to be in the running.