OTT & Digital

Twitter expands MENA premium sports content

F1 and major European soccer clubs part of social media giant built out collaborations.

by Steven Impey

Twitter expands MENA premium sports content

Twitter has expanded content agreements with some of its major sports partners as part of a drive by the social media giant to open up more premium video content to advertisers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The company has unveiled more than 16 video content collaborations across the sports, entertainment and news sectors, in a bid to connect its partners to the region’s burgeoning digital audiences.

Among its existing international clients, the company’s branded video content will extend to some of Europe’s biggest soccer teams and official suppliers, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, AS Roma, Liverpool, and Manchester City.

The social network has also renewed its global partnership with Formula One to include some of the best moments from the motorsport series on the platform, including an exclusive live show presented after 11 Grands Prix during the 2019 season.

“Across the world, we find that Twitter's audience leans in to our partners' premium real time video and our advertisers appreciate aligning with our brand safe inventory,” said Theo Luke, Twitter’s head of content partnerships for Europe, the Middle East and Asia (EMEA).

“Whether [that is] via global-firsts originating from MENA, which include custom productions which position brands as viable distribution partners, or by accessing original programs and video highlight clips.”

Twitter has also agreed an expanded deal with Qatar-based broadcaster BeIN Sports, to include near live highlights of the Uefa Nations League, the Fifa Women’s World Cup, Copa America, and the Africa Cup of Nations on its platform.

As part of their agreement, premium video clips will also be available for BeIN’s tennis coverage, including the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open.

Goal Arabia, a digital content strand of DAZN Group, will also produce an expanded edition of its ‘#YallaGoal European Weekly’ show, which covered the top-five European football leagues on Twitter, centred around the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and exclusive to the social media platform.

In addition, Twitter has also announced new formats around its content partnership with Saudi Pro League soccer clubs, Al Ahli and Al Ittihad, to include behind-the-scenes footage, player interviews, and archived coverage.

“We’re excited to bring premium content partnerships to these audiences and look forward to seeing continued success by advertisers as they launch new products and services when partnering with such content,” said Benjamin Ampen, Twitter’s managing director for the MENA region.

Twitter has also struck a deal with Abu Dhabi Media (ADM) featuring the broadcaster’s entertainment programming and select sports content. ADM has recently secured exclusive broadcast rights to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the MENA region.