Twitter said on Wednesday that it will be live-streaming the upcoming presidential debates between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton as part of an expanded partnership with Bloomberg Media.
When the two companies originally announced their partnership in July, Twitter said that it would be streaming a number of shows from the financial news service, including Bloomberg West, What’d You Miss?, and With All Due Respect as well as some of the channel's daily market coverage.
At some point between then and now, the two companies decided to expand this relationship to include the presidential debates, a decision that may have been influenced by the apparent success of Twitter's recent NFL streaming experiment.
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Twitter said Wednesday that it will carry Bloomberg's live broadcast of the debates starting Monday, September 26th, and will also include additional political programming both before and after the debates, led by Bloomberg hosts Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.
"Twitter is where the 2016 presidential election is happening every single day," said Anthony Noto, Twitter's chief financial officer, in a prepared statement. "Livestreaming the debates with Bloomberg combined with the live commentary and conversation on Twitter will create a one-screen experience at the center of the action unlike any other.”
Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith said that the deal would allow it to "leverage the power of Twitter’s enormous real-time platform for reaction and analysis." The stream will be available at debates.twitter.com and also via Bloomberg's @bpolitics account.
According to a source with knowledge of the partnership, the deal also includes an advertising revenue-sharing arrangement. Brands will be able to buy pre-roll ads for the pre- and post-debate coverage using Twitter’s Amplify platform, and there will also be in-stream ads.
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Twitter said that tweets sent during the first Democratic and Republican primary debates received over one billion impressions. Approximately 10 million tweets were sent during the first U.S. presidential debate of the 2012 election cycle, the company said, which was the most watched U.S. presidential debate in history.
The debate stream is just the latest in a series of moves Twitter has announced that are designed to position the service as the go-to destination for live video content. It started with a stream of Wimbledon coverage, followed by the Thursday night NFL stream (part of a $10-million deal with the league). And the social media company says there are more deals to come.
According to Nielsen, the NFL stream on Twitter garnered about 250,000 simultaneous viewers on average, compared with more than 15 million viewers on TV. But the stream was positively received by users. Time Inc. also streamed the game on its Sports Illustrated website as part of a deal with Twitter.