“Twitter Inc., making a strategic push into online programming, won a deal to show Thursday night National Football League games online, a person familiar with the matter said,” Scott Soshnick reports for Bloomberg. “The social-media company was said to be bidding against a slate of heavyweights including Verizon Communications Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.”

“The deal gives Twitter a key piece of content to attract mainstream users in its quest to make its service a go-to place to react to and discuss live events,” Soshnick reports. “The NFL, aware that a growing number of households are comfortable streaming video over the Internet, is using the digital rights for Thursday night games to reach so-called cord-cutters, as former cable-TV subscribers are known.”

“‘This should be favorable for Twitter in terms of creating a product that will encourage people to show up and use it,’ said Brian Wieser, an analyst at Pivotal Research Group,” Soshnick reports. “Terms of the deal weren’t immediately available. Last season, Yahoo paid $17 million to stream a game from London, which was played at 9:30 a.m. New York time and also broadcast on network TV in the teams’ home markets… Twitter would probably broadcast the games as a part of the six-month-old Moments feature, which could package a live event alongside commentary, behind-the-scenes tweets, and other content.”

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MacDailyNews Take: This is a smart strategic move for Twitter that has the potential to jumpstart user growth for a service that has difficulty explaining its raison d’être to Joe and Jane Sixpack.