Need more evidence that Twitter Inc. (TWTR) is playing second fiddle to Facebook Inc. (FB) when it comes to live video? A few days after Facebook announced it would live stream Major League Soccer games, Twitter announced a partnership with the National Lacrosse League.
On Wednesday, Twitter said it will broadcast one game a week during this year’s season as well as next year. The first game kicks off on Friday when the Colorado Mammoth plays the Toronto Rock. Twitter also said it will live stream the National Lacrosse League’s playoffs as well as show highlights of the game. The games will also air on NLLTV.com, which is the National Lacrosse League’s subscription video service. “We are thrilled to partner with the NLL as Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in North America,” said Anthony Noto, COO at Twitter in a statement announcing the partnership, which runs for two years. “Our collaboration will allow the highly passionate lacrosse community to watch live NLL games and join the conversation all on Twitter.” (See more: Facebook Getting Ad Dollars at Twitter's Expense.)
Investors Aren't Excited About Deal
The deal is huge for the National Lacrosse League, which doesn’t have a broadcast TV partner and is hoping to reach younger viewers through Twitter. Twitter won’t see a bump on the partnership, however, with investors preferring high-profile professional sports deals. It’s not like Twitter doesn’t know live sports. It has streamed NFL, NHL, professional boxing and eSport games, but the timing of this one underscores the difference between Twitter and Facebook.
Late last week, Facebook announced a deal with Major League Soccer and Univision. Under the deal, Facebook will live stream regular-season games and unique digital content from the teams. The companies will stream at least 22 matches during the 2017 MLS regular season. Those games will be broadcast in Spanish on Univision and in English on the Univision Deportes Facebook page. The matches, which will be produced to be viewed on mobile devices, will also include Facebook commentators, interactive graphics and the ability for fans to ask questions and take polls during the matches. Facebook is keen to include more live streaming of sporting events due to its popularity among its user base. Around 35% of its monthly user base, which amounts to 650 million people, have one or more sports pages in their network, according to MarketWatch.