The Bills’ Thursday night home opener against the New York Jets will make some history as the first NFL game to be streamed live on Twitter. It’s the kickoff to the social networking site’s $10 million deal with the NFL that was announced last April. Twitter will stream 10 Thursday Night Football games, simulcasting the network broadcast from CBS or NBC, each of whom are carrying five Thursday night games. The Bills-Jets matchup is on CBS.
The Bills were also involved in an NFL "first" last season, when their game in London against the Jaguars was streamed live by Yahoo. The London games are part of the NFL's efforts to grow its worldwide audience, and Bills-Jaguars just happened to be the matchup that week.
The same goes for Bills vs. Jets. If the NFL schedule makers had made that a Week 12 Thursday nighter, the Bills would not be in the first prime-time game carried on Twitter.
Harold Bryant, CBS executive producer and senior vice president for production, is in charge of the CBS game broadcast for Thursday. Bryant said the network welcomes the extra exposure on Twitter, but it doesn't change how they approach the game.
"It's really seamless," Bryant said. "It's something that happens behind the scenes. The feed is the exact same thing you'll see on TV, the content we provide will be live streamed right on Twitter, so for us, we're not doing anything different."
Twitter has also signed streaming deals with Major League Baseball, the NHL and the NBA, as well as Wimbledon. The site also streamed parts of the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
Advertisers will pay from $1 million to $8 million to have ads shown during the 10 TNF games, according to the Wall Street Journal.
To stream the game on Thursday you can go to tnf.twitter.com, or to the "Moments" page on Twitter's mobile app.