From: Sport Techie

By: Mark J. Burns

Date: 10/5/16


Cris Carter may no longer be appearing on ESPN as an NFL analyst following a departure in May, but the Pro Football Hall of Famer continues to be relevant this season.

Since the season last month, the 50-year-old Carter has teamed up with Twitter to provide pre- and post-game commentary along with halftime analysis on Periscope around every Thursday Night Football game.

After the NFL announced its live-streaming deal with Twitter for 10 TNF games in 2016, Carter and his media representatives viewed it as an opportunity to add “shoulder content” to not only those 10 games but the entire season.

“The experience has been great,” Carter said of the first few weeks. “Had to work through a few technical difficulties over the first couple of weeks as I was still just getting used to the Periscope app. But it has been awesome to have the ability to broadcast live from anywhere. In fact, I had to broadcast from the Philadelphia airport the other day during a flight delay, but we still got it done. The best part about it is definitely connecting with fans. Most of the comments that I receive from them during and after the broadcast have been very positive, and they have been coming with some great questions.”

Added Josh Rosenthal, Director of Marketing/Broadcasters at Vision Sports Group: “To have a guy who is a Pro Football Hall of Famer and who has the broadcast pedigree that he has and add a little to what they’re doing on Thursday nights for the first time ever, we thought it was a no-brainer for both sides. Twitter was very receptive to it and has been great to work with and has really supported Cris’ content.”

According to Rosenthal, as part of the informal relationship, Carter doesn’t have to provide a certain quota of minutes spent live streaming or reach a certain threshold of viewers throughout each game. Instead, the unscripted analysis and interaction with his followers allows Carter to stay top-of-mind with viewers, answers fans’ questions and give additional content to Twitter.

“TV is not going anywhere per se, but this digital way of consuming content is going to be huge going forward, and for Cris to be involved with it in a simplistic way now in the first year is great, and we can build off of it going forward,” Rosenthal said.

While a majority of Carter’s Periscope live streams have garnered an audience in the high four-figure and low five-figure ranges, this past Thursday night for the Cincinnati Bengals-Miami Dolphins game saw Carter’s videos receive roughly 70,000 views. Despite the weekly appearances, Carter said he is “looking forward to getting back on TV” when the right opportunity presents itself.

“Teaming with Twitter for this season during their inaugural streaming season has been a great experience, and I am glad that I am getting this experience in the digital space, because I know that is where a lot of fans are consuming their content these days. But, there is nothing like TV and I am looking forward to being back on TV in the near future,” Carter said.