Twitter To Live-Stream Some MLB, NHL Games

Want to take your favorite Major League Baseball or National Hockey League team with you wherever you go? Twitter is hoping to make that a reality by live-streaming select games soon. 

Variety reports that Twitter will start live-streaming games from the MLB and NHL to out-of-market viewers — whether they are logged in to the social network or not — once a week in the U.S. and some international markets.

The games will be aired exclusively for Twitter, although subscribers of other NHL and MLB subscription services will still be able to stream on those platforms.

Under the deal, Variety reports that Twitter has agreed to pay a certain level in ad sales generated from the live games to the leagues.

In addition to streaming NHL and MLB games, Twitter will also air a nightly sports highlight show called “The Rally” in conjunction with 120 sports.

Unlike the NHL and MLB games, “The Rally” will be available only to registered users in the U.S.

While there isn’t currently a timeline for when the social network will start airing the games, officials with the leagues tell Variety that the rights are effective immediately.

A schedule for games will be released in the near future, however the NHL is currently off-season.

“Twitter has long been a great partner and platform for both baseball and hockey fans as they follow their favorite teams and players every day,” Kenny Gersh, MLBAM’s executive vice president of business, said in a statement. “We know fans will embrace what this wide-ranging partnership brings – expanded and reliable access to live baseball and hockey and the introduction of Twitter’s first daily live highlight show delivered intuitively to a platform where they’re actively engaged with the games.”

The deal is the latest between the social network and professional sports leagues. Last year, Twitter inked a deal to air 10 NFL games on the “Thursday Night Football” schedule for the upcoming season.

Twitter has also partnered with the NBA for two live shows and with college conferences to air certain games and campus events.

Garth Brooks Cancels Tampa Tour Dates Due To Stanley Cup Final

Country music megastar Garth Brooks announced the cancellation of a series of concerts on his comeback world tour that were slated to take place in Tampa, Florida due to the Tampa Bay Lightning earning a spot in the championship series of the Stanley Cup Final.

Brooks announced on his website that the cancellation came after working closely with the Tampa Bay Lightning personnel and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in exhausting all possibly workable scenarios that would have allowed for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final and Brooks’ concerts take place.

“First of all, we would all like to congratulate the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks for reaching the Stanley Cup Final. As we now know, Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final is being played on Saturday, June 6th. All parties looked into moving Saturday’s two Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood shows to Sunday. The issue of getting the network crews and their gear out of the building and getting our crews and gear into the building late Saturday/early Sunday for two shows on Sunday raises serious safety concerns. It is because of those safety concerns that the choice is being made to refund all shows and reschedule depending on finding a date that works for both the arena and the tour.”

“This was a hard decision for everyone. We would like to thank Elmer Straub at Amalie Arena and Tod Leiweke with the Tampa Bay Lightning for working around the clock for the last 48 hours to find a remedy for the situation. We personally know Gary Bettman and are very familiar with the League and its players, coaches, and staff…they are all stand-up people. We are convinced everything that could have been done was done to try to remedy the situation. Congrats again to the City of Tampa, good luck, and we will be watching the series!!!”

Brooks’ website goes on to state that customers who purchased their tickets through Ticketmaster online or by phone will automatically be refunded, while those who purchased their tickets at an outlet location will be able to receive refunds at the point of sale beginning Monday. Brooks fans who purchased their tickets through the McDonald’s Ticket Office at Amalie Arena or through the Amalie Arena Sales Office are being advised to contact their sales rep or visit the box office during normal business hours for full refunds.

The concerts were set to be the first for Brooks since 1998. Brooks retired from the music business soon after to concentrate on raising his children. During Brooks’ hiatus, Brooks kept a toe in the music industry, releasing box sets of his studio albums and concert DVD’s and performing a series of limited engagement dates at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas. With his oldest daughter having graduated high school and entering college, Brooks announced his return to country music with the release of his first album of new music, Man Against Machine, in November and quickly announced a long awaited return to touring.

Brooks’ announcement also stated that his camp would work with the Amalie Arena to try to reschedule the tour dates, providing dates become available that work within Brooks’ availability and further tour commitments.