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Twitter reportedly in talks with the NBA, MLS and Turner for more sports streaming

TechCrunch TechCrunch 8/07/2016 Mark Lelinwalla

Twitter isn’t satisfied with streaming 10 Thursday Night Football games this upcoming NFL season. According to Recode, the social media network is also reportedly in talks with the NBA, Major League Soccer and cable television giant Turner about acquiring digital rights to stream more live sports. Twitter didn’t immediately respond to our request for confirmation of the report.

Whether those allegedly sought-after rights pave the way for Twitter to stream actual NBA and MLS games or exclusive interviews and analysis remains to be seen. But by the report alone it’s clear that the social network wants to establish itself as a legit sports presence, in which people can watch content while they tweet about it.

Earlier this week, Twitter got a head start with its sports content by live-streaming Wimbledon in what the company told us was a test.

“Twitter is increasingly a place where people can find live streaming video, and that includes exciting sporting events like Wimbledon,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an email about live-streaming the tennis action as a test. “This live stream is an extremely early and incomplete test experience, and we’ll be making lots of improvements before we launch it in its final form.”

Like it has already locked up with the NFL, securing a bundle of NBA and MLS games — or even just fringe content — would be a pretty sweet score for Twitter.

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