Twitter flexed its new feature for streaming live sports events by covering the recent Wimbledon tennis tournament free. The test came without much fanfare when Wimbledon’s official Twitter account began tweeting tennis matches live last Wednesday June 6, and is seen as proof of concept for the social networking site’s sports streaming plans.
Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, has spoken a great deal about how truly live experiences are going to be the future of his social network. The web address for Twitter Live as it streamed the Wimbledon tournament is expected to be the face of how other sports – such as the planned deal to live-stream NFL games on Twitter –, would be presented in the site’s newest feature. The format of the desktop Twitter site has a lone video window showing the live stream on the left-hand side, and a column to its right ticking of the latest related tweets as they come in. On the mobile version, while the Twitter feed can be scrolled up and down, the video window stays put while the event continues to stream.
A statement by Twitter on Wimbledon’s live-stream declared that, "Twitter’ is increasingly a place where people can find live streaming video, and that includes exciting sporting events like Wimbledon. This live stream is an extremely early and incomplete test experience, and we'll be making lots of improvements before we launch it in its final form."
The tournament’s feed to ‘Twitter’ was made possible through the joint efforts of the All England Club and sports network ESPN, which acquired the broadcast rights to Wimbledon in 2011. In actuality, the Wimbledon feed to ‘Twitter’ was not truly “live” at all, as the video window on Wednesday claimed that the day’s coverage had ended even as tennis matches continued to play out on the screen. The ESPN stream also included player interviews, match analyses and game replays, and all are available for viewing at both the WatchESPN and official Wimbledon sites.
These planned game streams for events such as the NFL have been arranged in an effort by Twitter to encourage more users to utilize it services, and therefore attract more advertisers for the site. Recent trends have seen a dwindling in numbers for the Twitter user base, and the company’s shares since last year have dropped nearly 50% in value.
Photo Credit to adage.com