Touchdown: Twitter share price bounces as it unveils plans to stream Thursday night NFL games

Emma Haslett
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Shares in Twitter jumped more than three per cent in pre-market trading after the company said it had won the bidding for digital rights to stream American football league games on Thursday nights.

Shares were up 3.4 per cent, at $17.10, after the news was announced by National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell (on Twitter, natch).

It's an unusual move for NFL, which, like its British soccer equivalent, makes millions each year selling the rights to its games to US broadcasters. But the league is known for embracing technology.

But in a statement, Goodell said Twitter is the "right partner for the NFL as we take the latest step in serving plans around the world".

Read more: A short history of Twitter on its 10th birthday

"Twitter is where live events unfold," he added.

"There is a massive amount of NFL-related conversation happening on Twitter during our games and tapping into that audience, in addition to our viewers on broadcast and cable, will ensure Thursday Night Football is seen on an unprecedented number of platforms this season. This agreement also provides additional reach for those brands advertising with our broadcast partners."

NFL also pointed out that all games will be free to watch, while the deal includes highlights, as well as pre-game interviews with players on Periscope.

Twitter shares have been in steady decline for the past year, when results began to suggest its user numbers were not growing as fast as hoped.

Yesterday shares in the company jumped more than nine per cent on hints Mastercard was interested in a tie-up with the company.

"We see companies like Facebook and Twitter occupying a really good space in social media," said Ann Cairns, president of international markets at Mastercard, in an interview with CNBC.

"We are always over in Silicon Valley talking to those companies."

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