The National Football League will distribute about 100 clips a week on Twitter, including highlights and instant replays — about twice the content the NFL distributed in its previous deal with the social network.
The focus of the agreement, announced Monday, will be in-game highlights—designed to build on the idea that Twitter is a real-time companion for television. The deal will be twice as long as the previous agreement between the league and social media site—two years, starting with the preseason. Twitter will try to sell advertisers the ability to sponsor NFL content created specifically for Twitter.
Shares of Twitter, which lost half their value since April and are scraping above their 52-week low, were more than 3.5 percent higher on Monday. The stock lost ground last week on slow user growth.
"This deal will get NFL fans on Twitter more content and more kinds of NFL content than ever seen before—by a huge measure," said Glenn Brown, Twitter's head of content partnerships and Amplify, the company's video advertising product. Brown said NFL content is some of the most valuable content on Twitter—the league's videos have as much as 20 times the engagement that average videos do.
In a key distinction from the previous deal, Twitter will do all the ad-selling, Previously, it co-sold the ads with partners.
Neither the NFL nor Twitter would share the terms of the deal, other than saying that the NFL will contribute its licensed content, then Twitter will share the revenue back to the NFL, with certain threshold requirements that make it worth the NFL's while.
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"When we posted NFL content we saw best-in-class engagement rates," said Vishal Shah, the NFL's VP of media strategy and business development. "How do we widen the content selection and make it more comprehensive in terms of the highlights, and combine that with new discovery features?"
Shah said the deal is different than any existing Amplify relationship for Twitter, in that it's "always-on content" that runs 24/7.
Asked whether the NFL has concerns about Twitter's stagnating growth, Shah said "that platform isn't going anywhere."
"We're over 5 million followers on our primary NFL account," he said. "The overarching theme is that you have over 300 million monthly active uniques and a great international platform."