SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter is close to reaching partnerships with television networks that would bring more high-quality video content and advertising to the social site, according to people familiar with the matter.
The San Francisco-based company has held talks with Viacom about hosting TV clips on its site and selling ads alongside them, said two of the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions were private. Twitter has also discussed a content partnership with Comcast’s NBCUniversal, said two of the people.
Twitter, which began in 2006 as a service for 140-character status updates, is racing to add video content that will get users to spend more time on the site and watch ads. Building on its existing partnerships with ESPN, Weather Channel and Turner Broadcasting System, Twitter is seeking to add more entertainment and news video, two people familiar with the plan said. NBC and Viacom, which owns MTV and Nickelodeon, would make attractive partners given the popularity of their content.
The partnerships would let Twitter stream videos on its site and split the resulting ad revenue with the networks, said one of the people familiar with the discussions. One or more deals could be reached by mid-May, and Twitter may strike deals with other networks, the person said. Gabriel Stricker, a spokesman for Twitter, declined to comment, as did Mark Jafar, a spokesman for Viacom, and Cameron Blanchard, a spokeswoman for NBC.