If you're without a cable TV subscription and have no access to legal sports streams online, chances are (probably) pretty good that you stumbled over to Twitter on Thursday night. That's where you would have found the NFL match-up between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. Or, perhaps you were simply on Twitter and happened to notice it in the side-bar.
Reuters is reporting that some 243,000 viewers tuned into the game through the tweeting social network, with viewers heaping praise onto it. And while 243K is a drop in the bucket compared to the 15.4 million that tuned in through CBS, for a first go, the numbers are impressive nonetheless.
Consider this: people who can watch through CBS (or some other means) are unlikely to watch the game through Twitter, since it's not a last-resort. Beyond that, it didn't seem to be well-advertised in advance that it would even be happening. We're willing to bet that the next time this happens, the viewer count will be even higher.
Adding more numbers to this game, it was found that the average person viewed just 22 minutes of the action. That implies that most didn't watch the game straight through, but again, it could be that most people didn't even find out about it until later on, and many who did tune in might have done so just to test it.
While the stream seemed to be a relative success overall, those in other countries might have been left a bit miffed. In Canada, an advertisement for the stream came up in user feeds, but when clicked, the stream would cease to play anything because the user was outside of the US - a definite roller-coaster of emotions for those who thought they could actually watch the game online through a legitimate feed.
Nonetheless, we could see the feed expand to other countries in the future, if the right advertisers are lined up. Advertising is really the only reason for the stream existing at all, with Anheuser-Busch, Ford, and Verizon being a few of the companies that advertised during this particular stream.
Did you know about Twitter streaming this game in advance, and given the option, would you tune in to a future game through the service?