In a move that surprised few, the broadcast rights for the 2013-2015 seasons of the National Football League (NFL) have been sold to a non-television entity. What was a surprise, however, is that the broadcast rights have been sold to Twitter.
“We think this is a natural progression,” said Twitter New Media developer Jacob Brittany with a smirk. “People only want the highlights anyway, so why not Twitter?”
It’s expected that the play-by-play, rather than taking 20-minutes to watch, will be sent to users paying for this premium feed in summary form.
“‘It’s a lng pss n fmbl, Gnts hv the bl,’ takes a fraction of the time to read as having to sit there through a 12-pack of Milwaukee’s Best and a bowl of Doritos to find out who’s ahead in the game,” said Brittany, “and it’ll free up television for the wives to catch up on the latest reruns of polygamist little people baking cakes. It’s definitely a win-win situation,” he said.
“Yes, it’s going to be a paid channel on Twitter, but we don’t think that’s going to hit our numbers too bad,” said Marcus Willburton, director of the Sports Media Development created last week at Twitter.
“Twitter has way more users than regular tv does anyhow, and while this endeavor will eventually fizzle out after losing it’s ‘new-smell appeal,’ by then we’ll have an international market that can’t even get American television,” he said.
The question of how commercials will play hasn’t gone unnoticed. The current plan is to tweet them line-by-line as they go, with colorful descriptions, but the details are still as sketchy as the descriptions will be. Speaking of which, Twitter has hired a good sketch artist who has indicated his desire to come on board and draw some of the more famous ad characters such as the singing frogs and Katy Perry’s new fragrance Ta-Tas as Bit.ly links.
“I think [football] games on Twitter is a good idea,” said Meaghan McCullister, a disenfranchised housewife from Billings, Montana. “I think the added time to grab some sandwiches and chips will make the game even more fun, and [hopefully my husband's friends will leave that much sooner, because those guys really, really creep me out. Especially Dave who stares at me like I'm a pork chop.]”
The biggest advantage of showing football games on Twitter is the fact that now, instead of screaming your fool head off and upsetting the neighbors, you can Tweet your frustrations in emoticons, leading to a decrease in domestic violence.
YouTube had been suggested as a leading bidder for NFL rights, much as RealNetworks bought the radio broadcasts of MLB some years ago, but it seems Twitter beat them out because they were able to respond more quickly, though at only 140-characters at a time.
This story was significantly co-written by P. Beckert.