Twitter adds MLB and NHL games to major league portfolio

Social media platform Twitter has secured live streaming rights to Major League Baseball and National Hockey League games under a deal with MLB Advanced Media, the interactive media and internet arm of the North American baseball league.

The length of the deal was not disclosed but it will be effective immediately and means Twitter now holds content partnerships with all four major sports leagues in North America.

The once-per-week live streams of out-of-market MLB and NHL games will be available free to logged-in and logged-out Twitter users in the United States. MLB games will also be available worldwide, except in select international territories. A schedule for the MLB and NHL games will be available at a later date.

Twitter will also live stream ‘The Rally’, a nightly program produced by US over-the-top platform 120 Sports that will include highlights and expert perspective across multiple sports exclusively to Twitter users in the US.

The Rally will seek to utilise a distinct format designed to integrate with Twitter’s platform, using Twitter-based data to determine live trending topics as well as adding other interactive elements for instant conversation and analysis. The Rally is said to be the first show of its kind to be streamed live on Twitter.

US newspaper Variety said that under the agreement, Twitter has committed to pay a certain level in advertising sales generated from the live games. After that threshold is met, the various parties will split additional ad revenue.

In August 2015, MLBAM signed a digital rights deal with the NHL covering six years, from 2016 to 2021. MLBAM holds an ownership stake in 120 Sports.