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Twitter says people tweeted twice as much during NFL games it streamed than those it didn’t

Showing football on Twitter, versus off Twitter, may have benefits after all.

Anthony Noto, Twitter, Code 2017 Asa Mathat

On the surface, it was tough to tell how valuable Twitter’s streaming deal with the NFL was last fall. The company didn’t end the season with significantly more users or significantly more revenue.

But Twitter COO and CFO Anthony Noto says that the deal was indeed valuable, in part because it increased engagement among its user base. Specifically, people tweeted a lot more.

Noto says Twitter users created twice as many tweets about NFL “Thursday Night Football” games when Twitter streamed those games versus when they were only on TV.

He also says that total tweet impressions, which are the number of times people see tweets related to the game, jumped from 100 million for a Thursday night game on TV, to 300 million or 400 million when Twitter streamed the games online.

“It drove more discussion,” Noto said simply onstage at Recode’s annual Code Conference Thursday. “We increased the number of tweets created with the game versus without the game last year by 2x.”

That’s good news for Twitter and its live video strategy. The company has said it wants to stream live video content around the clock, and the question so far has been, how does that actually help Twitter’s business?

Apparently, it helps by increasing engagement from people who are already users and already talking about stuff happening off the service.

The bad news for Twitter? It no longer has that NFL deal. Amazon does. And while it has a lot of livestreaming deals in place, the NFL arrangement was the company’s marquee deal.

Watch the full interview from Recode’s Code Conference below.

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