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NFL, Twitter agree to multi-year partnership extension

The new deal means the social media site will feature more exclusive content.

Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Fans of the San Francisco 49ers will have another option to consume content about their favorite team next season. The NFL announced it has reached a new multi-year extension with Twitter that will expand engagement in 2021.

The league and social media site have been working together since 2013. Since then, we have seen some Thursday Night Football matchups streamed on Twitter, and it has become the go-to social media site on Sundays.

As part of the new deal, the NFL will provide exclusive content on Twitter Spaces, which is a new feature focused more on the audio portion of the media world. The social media site will use Twitter Spaces for live audio conversations, similar to apps like Spotify’s Green Room and Clubhouse.

The league broke down what fans can expect on Twitter during the 2021 season:

With more than 20 Spaces planned for the upcoming 2021 NFL season, the NFL is the first sports league to partner with Twitter to offer sponsored Twitter Spaces, giving both brands and fans new opportunities to connect and engage with live NFL audio. The NFL’s Twitter Spaces will be available throughout the season, as well as in conjunction with NFL tentpole events including Kickoff, Super Bowl, the NFL Draft and more. The Spaces will include participation from current NFL players and other NFL talent to discuss season matchups and insights.

The partnership will continue to engage fans each week of the season through:

New Highlight Offerings — Curated videos featuring recaps of the best touchdowns, highlights and Tweets each week of the season with first-of-its-kind opportunities for brands.

Expanded NFL Twitter Votes — Fans will be invited to vote each week on the hottest topics and takes burning through the NFL Twittersphere in an expanded set of Twitter Polls.

Providing Fans the Best Moments from Every Game — The NFL and its Clubs will bring the best moments from every game to the #NFLTwitter community through highlights, and on-field coverage and Twitter Moments.

The announcement comes less than three months after the NFL finalized its new TV and streaming deals. The league will continue its partnerships with networks CBS, FOX and NBC to carry weekly matchups and made a concerted effort to increase its streaming options by signing a deal with Amazon.

The new contracts with the four outlets will run through the 2033 season, with the networks paying roughly a combined $110 billion, per the Sports Business Journal.

As part of the deal, Amazon’s streaming service will be the exclusive home of 15 Thursday Night Football (Thursday games involving your home team will be available on local TV). This marks the first time in history that the NFL signs a contract with a provider that will exclusively broadcast over-the-top. The deal takes effect for the 2022 campaign. The NFL Network will also air select Thursday matchups throughout the season.

The 49ers get a ton of engagement through their official Twitter account, so the new deal should be a welcome addition to the social media space.

All of the new contracts have come at the right time following the economic fallout of the pandemic. The 2021 salary cap fell by roughly 8 percent due to the lack of revenue, and these deals will help get the league’s finances growing at a similar clip within the next few years.