Twitter said to win NFL deal for thursday night streaming rights

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Twitter was said to be bidding against a slate of heavyweights including Verizon, Yahoo! and Amazon. Photo: Reuters
Twitter Inc., making a strategic push into online programming, won a deal to show Thursday night National Football League games online, a person familiar with the matter said.

The social-media company was said to be bidding against a slate of heavyweights including Verizon Communications Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. Facebook Inc. dropped out of the bidding last week, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions who asked not to be named because the talks were private.

The deal gives Twitter a key piece of content to attract mainstream users in its quest to make its service a go-to place to react to and discuss live events.

The NFL, aware that a growing number of households are comfortable streaming video over the Internet, is using the digital rights for Thursday night games to reach so-called cord-cutters, as former cable-TV subscribers are known.