Twitter announced today that it is testing a new sports network called “Stadium” that it plans to debut on its platform this fall.
Anthony Notto, Twitter chief operating officer, dropped the news during the company’s second quarter earnings call with analysts on Thursday. Live video has been a singular bright spot as the company continues to struggle with no user growth and declining revenues.
“We’re really encouraged by the progress we’ve made,” Notto said. “We’re going to launch a significant amount of increased content in the fall.”
Notto didn’t offer any more details about Stadium in terms of what users can expect or how it might look. He also noted that, as others have reported, the company continues to work with Bloomberg on developing a news channel that is also scheduled to appear later this year.
In its earnings announcement, the company said it delivered 1,200 hours of live video content during the second quarter, up from 900 hours in Q1 and 600 hours in Q4 of 2016. Video reached 55 million unique viewers in the quarter, up 22 percent from Q1.
Notto said Twitter’s approach to hosting live video and then curating tweets that appear below it has been very positive so far. He said the number of tweets as well as the number of people tweeting increase significantly on its live video events.
That said, Twitter suffered a bit of a setback recently in the sports arena. Last year, the company hosted live streams of NFL Thursday night games on its platform. But it was recently outbid by Amazon for those games next season.
Still, the NFL announced a longer-term deal with Twitter to produce a 30-minute live digital show that will air on Twitter five days per week during the NFL season. The NFL also said it would use Periscope in pre-game events and continue to make highlight clips available to be shared on Twitter.
None of this was enough, however, to persuade investors that Twitter’s turnaround was gaining enough traction. Shareholders pummeled Twitter’s stock after trading began Thursday, driving it down 13.51 percent to $16.95 per share in mid-day trading.
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