Come this fall, football fans will take to Twitter on Thursday nights to do something other than tweet about the fortunes of their favorite team. They'll also be able to catch some games streaming live on the social media service.
The National Football League announced the schedule for its 2016 season last night (April 14). Along with the rest of the 17-week schedule, we now know which games will be available through Twitter on Thursday nights.
Twitter won the right to broadcast NFL games earlier in April, reportedly beating out the likes of Amazon, Yahoo and Facebook. Twitter's NFL coverage will include in-game highlights as well as pregame coverage through the Periscope live-streaming app. Think of it as the NFL's way of reaching viewers who stream more of their entertainment off the Internet after cutting off their cable TV service.
Twitter users can expect to see some of the powerhouse teams in the NFL — the world-champion Denver Broncos will have one of their games broadcast on Twitter, as will the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers — but few marquee match-ups will be shown on the social media service. The Sept. 22 battle between the Patriots and the Houston Texans is the only match-up that pairs up playoff teams from last season, while the Oct. 20 Packers game against the Chicago Bears features one of the NFL's oldest rivalries.
Also, not every Thursday night game will appear on Twitter, which is broadcasting only 10 of the 15 Thursday night clashes during the season. Twitter will stream the games that also air on either NBC or CBS on Thursday nights; other games appearing on the NFL Network won't show up on Twitter. That means an irregular schedule — only one Thursday night game appears on Twitter during November — that may frustrate online viewers.
Nevertheless, here's the slate of games that will stream on Twitter this year, so you can start blocking out your Thursday nights now. The broadcast begin at 8:25 p.m. ET.
- Sept. 15: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
- Sept. 22: Houston Texans at New England Patriots
- Oct. 6: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
- Oct. 13: Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers
- Oct. 20: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
- Nov. 17: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
- Dec. 1: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
- Dec. 8: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
- Dec. 15: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
- Dec. 22: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
The NFL seasons kicks off on Sept. 8 with a rematch of Super Bowl 50 between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.