“I get the press release, jumped out of my seat, slammed my hands on my desk and said no way,” Battaglino said. “I was literally freaking out.”
The partnership with Twitter, officially announced on Tuesday, will provide a hefty lift to the league, which wrapped up a tumultuous second year of operation in March. In 2015, the N.W.H.L. became the first North American women’s professional hockey league to offer players salaries. But last year, difficulties in obtaining new sponsors forced the league to impose pay cuts, leading to increased questioning from fans and players about its sustainability.
The league has also held some appeal for major media broadcasters. Before Twitter, ABC News live-streamed the Isobel Cup, the league’s championship game, in March. During the 2015 season, New England Sports Network, which has the same owners as the Boston Red Sox, also streamed games.
“We are thrilled to feature more live professional women’s sports on Twitter by collaborating with the N.W.H.L.,” Anthony Noto, Twitter’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. “Fans around the world will now be able to view live the fast-paced, exciting action on the ice on the same platform where the conversation about hockey is happening.”
The deal includes 16 regular-season games, the 2018 All-Star Game and two exhibition games where league players will compete against the Russian women’s national team. Currently, the league has franchises representing New York, Boston, Connecticut and Buffalo.
“It’s a landmark partnership for the N.W.H.L.,” said Dani Rylan, the league’s commissioner and founder. “We believe it will lead to other opportunities because of the increased exposure.”
Online streaming is a growing market for professional sports leagues. Last year, the N.F.L. streamed Thursday-night football games on Twitter; this year they will move to Amazon.com. Recently, Facebook has streamed games for…