Twitter continues to amp up its live streaming ambitions in the sports world.
The social media company today announced that it will stream more than 70 hours of live competition from 31 PGA Tour tournaments in 2017.
Golf fans can use Twitter to stream early coverage of each tournament, starting with the CareerBuilder Challenge on Jan. 19 and ending with the Tour Championship in September.
The feed will come from the first 60 to 90 minutes of PGA Tour Live’s coverage, which includes pre-round analysis, interviews, and range coverage. As far as actual live competition, you’ll only be able to see action from the first two holes of each day’s PGA Tour Live “Marquee Groups.”
In July 2015, PGA Tour launched PGA Tour Live, its first over-the-top streaming subscription service. The paid service, $5.99 per month or $39.99 per year, allows golf fans to watch a pair of “Marquee Groups” during the first two rounds of a given tournament before TV coverage begins. The idea is to give users an additional way to watch live action not covered by the traditional broadcast.
Now fans will be able to watch some of that content for free on Twitter. While you can’t stream whatever golfer you want to see throughout the entire tournament on Twitter, fans get to catch some free golf on the internet, at the very least. You don’t need to be a Twitter use to access the feed, which can be found at PGATourLive.twitter.com and on the @PGATour account.
Twitter is actively selling advertising spots for the Twitter stream. The deal also includes more PGA Tour participation in Twitter’s advertising revenue Amplify program; the Tour will increase highlight videos and other content across Twitter and Periscope this year.
The PGA Tour teamed up with Twitter previously in August during the FedEx playoffs. The tour recently tapped Jay Monahan as its new commissioner, and he hinted that changes could be coming — like perhaps starting its own cable network — to attract more fans.
In September, GeekWire covered the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Ga., and learned how the PGA Tour could possibly use the PGA Tour Live app to mimic NFL RedZone, the NFL-run channel that shows every scoring play on Sundays. Imagine if PGA Tour Live expanded by using cameras on every hole for every group, and then let viewers watch every birdie putt, for example. This process could be automated with a simple combination of scoring and ball location data that the PGA is already tracking in real-time.
Twitter, meanwhile, is focusing in on bringing live streaming content to its platform as it tries to fix its stagnant user growth. The company has partnerships with more than 300 rights holders, including the NFL, which inked a deal to let Twitter stream 10 Thursday Night Football games this season.
Twitter also has similar live streaming deals with leagues like the NBA and MLB, which will stream one game per week on Twitter in 2017. It also is looking at non sports-related content; Twitter has deals with media giants like Bloomberg and CBS, and last week the company announced that it will stream the Golden Globes’ red carpet pre-show.
Related: Twitter says live streaming of NFL games went ‘incredibly well’; no word on deal for next season.