Is Twitter Secretly Building a Sling TV Competitor?


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twitter-logo-small-fade-1920Twitter has been quietly building up a portfolio of live TV events over the last few months. Now they are getting into live TV news, leaving some to wonder what Twitter’s final goal is for their live TV event.

This all started earlier this year with Twitter, in a surprising move, getting rights to air NFL Thursday night games. They continued to build up their library of live event coverage with the addition of CBS News’ live coverage of the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention in July.

Now they have a deal to live stream Bloomberg TV with the addition of three popular news shows airing Monday through Friday on Twitter. There has also been reports that Twitter is in talks with the NBA and MLS to bring in more sports.

When you put this all together, Twitter is quickly becoming a cord cutters go-to location for major live events.

So the question now is, what is Twitter’s end goal?

They appear to be building a network that will focus on live events rather than scripted content. This is probably a wise move for Twitter, because live events are often what cord cutters miss most.

Scripted shows are something people can, for the most part, wait for. There is no need to watch a new episode of “Family Guy” as it airs, but there is a need to see a football game live.

So how will Twitter monetize this service?

Live content is something people are willing to sit down and watch ads for. So ads have to be a big part of Twitter’s plan; however, standard ad breaks alone will likely not be enough to keep the service afloat. So there will likely be some additional monetization to justify the millions that Twitter is paying for this content, yet no one knows what Twitter is planning right now.

What issues will Twitter face?

Twitter has a few issues to face in order to make this service a success. First, there is competition out there for this content. The NFL games they have rights to are all free over the air with an antenna. Also, Bloomberg TV is free through many services and the Bloomberg site has a live stream.

Twitter is also fighting for rights to these events from many big names with much deeper pockets such as Amazon, Google, and even Yahoo.

The last issue is apps. Twitter does not have apps on many streaming players, leaving users of Rokus, Fire TVs, Apple TVs, and more left out in the cold for now.

So will Twitter be successful?

Right now it is way too early to say how successful Twitter will be with their new streaming service. They seem to be hitting the right notes by going after live events but many obstacles are ahead for Twitter’s new streaming service.

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