Elon Musk is waiting in the wings to get his hands on Twitter — with a slew of new ideas to shake up the social network. But on Wednesday evening, Twitter was trying to keep things business as usual, unveiling a series of content pacts at its NewFronts presentation in New York.
“It has been a quiet month at Twitter,” JP Maheu, VP of global client solutions, deadpanned at the beginning of the preso. “So, really no better time to get you all together.”
Twitter’s biggest news was a new partnership with Fox Sports, which will produce and distribute exclusive content on the platform for all matches in the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 (Nov. 21-Dec. 18) and FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 (July 20-Aug. 20, 2023) tournaments. The company also announced new and expanded deals with E! News, the WNBA, Condé Nast, Essence and Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Revolt for the expanded lineup of newly announced programming (all available for marketers to buy against).
Under its deal with Twitter, Fox Sports will for the first time present in-match previews, near real-time highlights, and live pregame shows for the World Cup matches in 2022 and 2023 exclusively for Twitter via @FOXSports and @FOXSoccer. The productions will feature analysis from Fox Sports personalities, including interactive Q&As and weekly live audio events in Twitter Spaces.
Fox Sports positioned the Twitter pact as driving tune-in for World Cup matches and coverage across Fox, FS1, the Fox Sports App and foxsports.com, as well as boosting engagement on Twitter itself. “These new offerings will bring fans the FIFA World Cup experience wherever they are by keeping them engaged with a taste of the excitement, while encouraging them to tweet and watch the rest of the match on Fox Sports,” said Edward Hartman, SVP of digital partnerships and wagering for Fox Sports.
During the the 2018 men’s World Cup in Russia, the @FOXSoccer Twitter account set records for the tournament with 163 million views. In 2019, Fox broke Twitter records for the women’s tournament with 100 million views as the U.S. Women’s National Team won its second straight World Cup.
Also at the NewFronts presentation, Twitter announced a partnership with NBCUniversal, under which the company will be the first social partner to test an integration with iSpot, NBCU’s first cross-platform video certified measurement partner. That’s aimed at providing better analytics to advertisers who purchase Twitter Amplify sponsorships from NBCU about incremental audience reach.
In addition, Twitter said it will expand real-time highlights through a new pilot program coming later in 2022 around major global events, which will let advertisers promote and buy pre-roll spots on live event pages.
Here’s a rundown of the other programming pacts Twitter announced:
- E! News will launch a made-for-Twitter livestreaming show, “While You Were Streaming,” hosted by TV personality Danielle Robay, who will cover the biggest shows of the moment with a slate of rotating guests.
- Condé Nast entered into a global, multiyear content commitment with Twitter covering tentpoles events, including livestreams of Vogue’s Red Carpet at the Met Gala, the Vanity Fair Oscar Party Red Carpet, and the Pitchfork Music Festival. The partnership also includes content from Wired, Bon Appetit and the New Yorker. According to TJ Adeshola, Twitter’s head of global content partnerships, there were more than 8 million views of Met Gala content on Twitter on May 2.
- Essence will expand its Twitter presence with highlights from events including the Essence Festival of Culture and the Global Black Economic Forum as well as weekly clips from series such as “The Receipts” and “Essence Uncovered.”
- Revolt will expand its content lineup on Twitter spanning music, lifestyle, urban entertainment, sports and social justice. Content will come from the Revolt Summit; hip-hop podcast “Drink Champs”; the Crew League, which showcases fan-favorite artists going head to head on the basketball court; financial literacy series “Assets Over Liabilities”; and “Revolt Black News Weekly.”
- The WNBA inked a multiyear extension of its partnership with Twitter, under which the platform will stream 12 live games on Twitter during the 2022 season. In addition, the @WNBA will for the first time host weekly Twitter Spaces events throughout the season, as well as during the league’s tentpole events and the offseason.