Twitter has signed a deal with European broadcaster Sky to live-stream “Deadline Day” – the final day for soccer clubs in the U.K. to hire new players – as it steps up the competition against rivals Facebook.
“Deadline Day” begins on Tuesday on Sky Sports and usually features a mix of analysis and rolling coverage of all the soccer stars that have been transferred to new clubs. In the U.K., it is watched very closely by avid soccer fans.
Twitter will live-stream three hours of coverage from the Sky Sports newsroom at 12 p.m. London time to 1 p.m., 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the final hour from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. Users who visit deadlineday.twitter.com, will see the live video with a stream of related tweets on the side.
“Deadline day is a huge date in the diary for everyone who loves football,” Andy Cairns, Sky Sports News executive editor, said in a press release on Tuesday.
“Every window we strive to find new ways for fans to follow our coverage and deliver the stories in a way that suits their busy lives.”
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Sky Sports to give fans everywhere another way to watch and discuss the day’s top rumors and deals as they unfold live, all on Twitter,” Anthony Noto, COO of Twitter, said in a press release.
Live video has become a key battleground for social media firms as they try to boost user numbers and engagement on the platform. For Twitter, which has struggled with growing its user base in recent times, live video is seen as the future, especially as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat step up their efforts in the space.
Last year, Twitter signed a deal to be the exclusive partner for live streaming Thursday night National Football League games. The debut NFL game streamed on Twitter in September reached 2.1 million viewers.