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Twitter looking to stream NBA, MLS games: report

July 08,2016 19:13

Twitter may soon expand its live sports offerings. According to Recode, the social network is in talks with the NBA, Major League Soccer and cable network Turner (which has the rights to broadcast NBA and men's college basketball games as well as MLB ...and more »

TOP TRENDING Eli Blumenthal, USA TODAY 12:08 p.m. EDT July 8, 2016Twitter may soon expand its live sports offerings.According to Recode, the social network is in talks with the NBA, Major League Soccer and cable network Turner (which has the rights to broadcast NBA and men's college basketball games as well as MLB games and its own ESports league) to stream content on its platform.It is unknown if the content will be pre-game or postgame coverage, similar to what Twitter has done with its Wimbledon coverage this week, or if it is instead pursuing streaming of live games similar to what the company will be doing with live Thursday night NFL games this fall.Twitter paid $10 million in April for the rights to stream 10 NFL games, a small fraction of the combined $450 million CBS and NBC are paying for the rights to broadcast the Thursday night games on television.Unlike broadcasters, which rely on cable subscriptions as well as advertising fees, Twitter has only advertising as its source of income when it streams games. It also has to persuade the leagues and networks that streaming on Twitter provides benefits that won't diminish from the traditional, lucrative cable broadcasts of the games.Twitter, Turner Sports and the MLS declined to comment. The NBA did not respond to a request for comment.For Twitter, centralizing streaming would be the next logical step as it looks to attract more users to its service and emphasize its live quality. Many broadcasts already feature hashtags or Twitter handles of analysts in a bid to keep the conversations going online before, during and after the games.The company currently has more than 300 million monthly active users, making it much smaller than social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram. User growth at Twitter was up only 3% during the second quarter, putting pressure on management to find more ways to lure new users.Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthalRead or Share this story: http://usat.ly/29BJdlp

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