Twitter to Stream Republican, Democratic National Conventions

First Non-Sporting Live Streams on Twitter

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A Donald Trump supporter outside a Cincinnati event on July 6 wears a t-shirt with the candidate's image.
A Donald Trump supporter outside a Cincinnati event on July 6 wears a t-shirt with the candidate's image. Credit: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Twitter said Monday that it will live stream coverage of the Republican and Democratic National conventions through a partnerships with CBS News.

They will be the first non-sporting events to be live-streamed on Twitter in partnership with a media company.

"Twitter is the fastest way to find out what's happening in politics and to have a discussion about it," Anthony Noto, Twitter's chief financial officer, said in a statement. "By bringing the live discussion of the Republican and Democratic national conventions together with CBSN's live video stream of the proceedings, we believe we're giving people around the world the best way to experience democracy in action."

The stream will feature coverage from CBSN, which is CBS News' 24-hour digital streaming news service. The stream will be live on Twitter each day from gavel to gavel.

Twitter will not be selling ads for the live stream, but will show commercials from CBS's feed, a person familiar with the deal said. Twitter is in discussion with CBS to sell ads on Twitter's inventory but nothing has materialized yet, the person said.

The Republican National Convention will take place in Cleveland from July 18 to July 21, followed by the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to July 28.

CBS has previously worked with Twitter for election-related coverage; the two partnered for both the Democratic and Republican presidential debates last November and February. In those instances, candidates were asked questions based off live tweets from voters.

Last week, Ad Age reported that Twitter was in the final stages of closing "about 10" different partnerships with media providers to live stream content on its platform. Twitter wants to test its technology before it begins selling ads for its live stream offerings. The company also wants to make sure its streaming capabilities are up to par before it carries 10 NFL games in the upcoming season.

Twitter has a lot riding on the success of its exclusive NFL package, for which it paid about $10 million. A spokesman said Twitter has sold more than 60% of its NFL inventory and most recently, closed a deal with Bank of America during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France.

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