Sports fans can now ditch TV for Twitter

Twitter has been busy striking deals with sports networks these couple of months. It recently contracted with Eleven Sports so its users can live stream Ivy League football games on the online social networking platform. This was following last month’s several new partnerships in the Asia Pacific region such as BeIN Sports and Seven West media for content.

Twitter introduces over 35 premium video content partnerships to Asia Pacific.

In mid-September, Twitter announced that it was collaborating with over 35 brands for live and exclusive video content. International Cricket Council (ICC), Channel 7 Sports, and Fox Sports Asia are just some of the channels the social network is partnering with. The list also includes firms in the entertainment and news industries.

Other new sports partnerships which advertisers can leverage on include Ashes/Cricket Australia, Breakfast with Champions with Gaurav Kapur, Cricbuzz, Premier Futsal India, and Riot Games.

For news partnerships, Twitter struck deals with Bloomberg Asia Pacific, BuzzFeed Japan, Channel 7, NDTV and Network 18. Meanwhile, entertainment partnerships include ABS-CBN, Anupama Chopra & Film Companion, ARIA Awards, Filmfare Awards, Haylo Media Group, KBS Music Bank Weekly Shows, Live Nation Australia, and a lot more.

Tapping into sports broadcasting in Southeast Asia comes as no surprise. Online video is gaining momentum in the region, with over 1.10 billion expected viewers by end of the year — accounting for more than half the viewers worldwide. On the other hand, sports enthusiasts have always turned to Twitter for real-time information about their favorite players and teams.

With the social network experiencing a plateau in its number of active users in the last two quarters, Twitter could really use a boost on its subscription. ICC, for example, could draw in cricket fans into the network during its events next year. Channel 7 Sports can also attract several tennis fans via @7tennis where highlights and videos from the Australian Open will be posted.

“Live is at the core of Twitter!”

This social media platform, however, does not intend to limit these partnerships to simple social engagement. In fact, Maya Hari, its managing director in Asia Pacific, claimed that the network plans to monetize from these collaborations through pre and mid-roll advertising. It promises to offer brand safety and advertising fraud within the confines of its platform and product.

“Digital video consumption is growing rapidly in Asia Pacific and estimated to grow to over a billion by 2020.”

While the social network appears to be banking on videos with its recent partnerships, Hari clarified that it is not shifting from social to broadcast. Rather, Twitter sees itself as a news platform where consumers go to for information and entertainment. This includes current events, sports, and entertainment, among many others.

With its recent collaborations for premium video content, we cannot help but speculate whether it could lead to in-house programming in the future. Hari, however, dismissed the idea by saying that production is not Twitter’s core strength and the social network is leaving that to its content partners. In the meantime, sports fans and other users could watch their favorite games online via the social network.

It is not always smooth sailing for Twitter. In the recent years, the social network has faced many headlines and hashtags attacking the site—but it does not intend to sleep on it. Twitter has been keeping up with its fans’ demands by constantly partnering with quality brands to bring in premium content to the platform.


Theo Luke, its sports partnership director in Europe and the Middle East, proudly claimed that the social network has persistently defied its naysayers throughout the years. Despite a plateauing user count and falling stocks, we can see Twitter thriving among its contemporaries.

Whether #TwitterIsOverParty or not, the social network is definitely not going down without a fight.


Maya Hari

Theo Luke