Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) made yet another live-video deal last week when it signed Pac-12 Networks to its growing list of partnerships.
The social media company is now the premier streaming partner for Pac-12 Plus, which will include at least 150 games across 12 universities for the 2016-2017 season.
"Twitter is the fastest way to find out what is happening in live sports. Our partnership with the Pac-12 Networks will give sports fans a great way to view live sporting events along with the live Twitter conversation they are already accustomed to," Twitter Chief Financial Officer, Anthony Noto, said in a press release.
The deal includes school-produced live-streaming of events in Olympic sports including soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, baseball, ice hockey, swimming & diving, softball, track & field, wrestling, lacrosse, tennis, and water polo. Football and basketball games aren't included in the deal.
Does it matter to shareholders?
On its own, this partnership wouldn't mean a whole lot to Twitter's investors. But it's a pretty big deal when paired with the recent news that Twitter will live-stream the Democratic and Republican national conventions, and a handful of Bloomberg TV shows. Most importantly, Twitter just paid $10 million to live-stream 10 NFL games this coming football season.
Twitter is looking to live video as one of its next major growth drivers, just as its rival Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is focusing on the same area. Recently, Facebook made a $50 million deal with celebrities and media companies to live-stream shows and content on its site.
Both companies are looking to live video to both engage their users and grab a larger piece of the $9.9 billion digital video ad spending market. Facebook's live videos are already helping the company extend the amount of time its users spend watching video and increase the number of comments by about 10 times, compared to regular videos.
Twitter is looking for similar success as it moves to monetize its live-streaming Periscope app that it purchased last year for about $56 million. It's still too early to tell if Twitter's live-video investments will pay off with increased revenue -- but no one can claim the company isn't at least trying.