July 17 – Twitter, which has ruthlessly axed hundreds of football accounts without explanation or recourse to appeal, has broadcast its first full match live with a team from Italy’s Serie A.
With Twitter holding all the cards in terms of who can use its platform, the axing of accounts has raised questions over how safe the platform is for clubs and brands in terms of building a secure business platform around its social media.
AS Roma clearly feel it is a risk worth taking, streaming a pre-season friendly on the platform against Serie D side Latina on Saturday. Roma hammered Latina, winning 9-0.
Roma said in an official press release that more than 100,000 fans watched the game via their Italian Twitter account and that their official accounts generated more interactions on the social media platform in June than any other team in Italy.
Roma have streamed live matches on social media platforms before. In 2016 Roma became the first European club to stream a full first team game live on Facebook against Russian Premier League side Terek Grozny.
Guido Fienga, chief operations officer at Roma, said: “When we set up Roma Studio back in 2014, our goal was to be able to control how we delivered the most compelling content to our supporters around the world and today’s live Twitter broadcast is another first for our media department.
“We’ve made a great effort in recent years to embrace new technology and platforms with our TV channel, radio station and social media and this season we’ll continue to innovate in a way that brings our fans closer to the club.”
While the club has innovated by being the first in Italy to live stream on Twitter, the revenue outcome is likely to be negative. With 100,000 fans watching for free the numbers are significant for an inconsequential game, but nowhere near match the more than 3 million who watched Wayne Rooney’s benefit match live on Facebook two years ago.
Twitter has a long way to go to win the confidence of football or content owners as a serious platform for their rights – and not just in football. Axing football accounts and the media that supports the game worldwide has gone a long way to increasing that distrust of a social media platform that frequently proves itself more dangerous than helpful to football social-sphere.
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