Twitter Clinches Deal With NFL for Football Replays Ahead of IPO

The National Football League is teaming up with Twitter Inc. to post video highlights of games on the microblogging site and share the advertising revenue.

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) will be one of the sponsors for clips of game highlights featured on Twitter, said Hans Schroeder, the NFL’s senior vice president of media strategy and development. The videos will range from replays to expert advice on fantasy football, he said.

Twitter has been striking deals with video-content owners, seeking to attract users and advertisers. The site, where anyone can post messages about anything in 140 characters or fewer, is targeting $1 billion in sales for 2014 and said earlier this month that it confidentially filed for an initial public offering. The NFL deal follows a pact with the National Basketball Association in May to feature game highlight clips.

“This is a big splash for us in the social-media space,” Schroeder said yesterday in an interview. “We know our fans want to do more things while watching games.”

Schroeder and Will Stickney, a spokesman for San Francisco-based Twitter, declined to discuss specific terms of the deal.

Twitter, which is seeking to tap into spikes in traffic generated by people sending messages while watching television shows, is forging deals with video-content owners while bolstering its appeal with marketers. The site also has deals with Viacom Inc. (VIA) to host stand-up comedy clips from Comedy Central, weather forecasts from Weather Channel LLC and college basketball clips from Turner Broadcasting, a unit of Time Warner Inc. (TWX)

Twitter and CBS said this week they’re tying up to sell promotions in posts and video clips.

The NFL has more than 5 million followers on its official Twitter account, and players from J.J. Watt to Troy Polamalu use the site to interact with fans and post photos from games on a regular basis.

To contact the reporters on this story: Scott Soshnick in New York at ssoshnick@bloomberg.net; Douglas MacMillan in San Francisco at dmacmillan3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net; Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net

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