Twitter in talks with Apple to launch Apple TV app for NFL Thursday Night Football live streaming

“Last March, Twitter and Facebook, along with other tech companies, faced off over which of them would get the rights to live-stream National Football League games on Thursday nights,” Mike Isaac reports for The New York Times. “‘Having that live programming every night when sports are playing — with no paywall, no logging in and directly from the source — that’s key to us,’ said Anthony Noto, the chief financial officer for Twitter and formerly for the N.F.L., who helped forge the streaming deal. When Twitter streams its first N.F.L. game on Sept. 15, it will get to assess whether its vigorous pursuit will pay off — and whether live streaming can viably be a linchpin of its future.””

“Since April, Twitter has signed a series of live-streaming deals, including with Wimbledon, CBS News, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and Pac-12 Networks. Twitter is also in discussions with other organizations, including Major League Soccer and the Professional Golfers Association, for similar agreements, according to people briefed on the talks,” Isaac reports. “For Twitter, the bet on live streaming is crucial to turning itself into a mainstream internet destination after other efforts have failed. Live streaming could finally broaden Twitter’s appeal, attracting an even wider audience.”

“Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, considers streaming a critical component of the company’s focus on ‘live’ experiences, along with Periscope, its app that allows smartphone users to live-stream video,” Isaac reports. “To bolster the effort, Twitter is in talks with Apple to bring the Twitter app to Apple TV, which would potentially let millions of Apple TV users watch the streaming N.F.L. games, according to the two people briefed on the discussions.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in April of Twitter’s Thursday Night Football streaming deal:

This is a smart strategic move for Twitter that has the potential to jumpstart user growth for a service that has difficulty explaining its raison d’être to Joe and Jane Sixpack.

Withe the Twitter talks, Apple is showing more than one way to get live NFL games on Apple TV. It would be best to have an NFL exclusive, but it’s still better to have the games than not, even if they are on Twitter, too.

As we wrote back in May 2014:

Perhaps Cook should consider bidding for and winning NFL Sunday Ticket away from Direct TV, buying rights to Premiere League and La Liga games, etc. and making them Apple TV exclusives. Go directly to the sports leagues with boatlods of cash. Maybe that’ll grease the wheels. It’ll certainly move a bunch of Apple TV boxes around the world in short order.

Twitter wins deal to stream NFL Thursday Night Football – April 5, 2016
Apple declines to place bid on NFL Thursday Night Football – March 3, 2016
The Super Bowl that killed cable: NFL streams the big game on Apple TV, no cable or satellite account required – February 4, 2016
Apple, Amazon, Google, Yahoo expected to bid on NFL Thursday Night Football – December 16, 2015
NFL Thursday Night Football rights could be worth a quarter of a trillion to Apple (or Amazon) – December 8, 2015
Apple could make $15 billion from winning the rights to NFL Thursday Night Football – November 27, 2015

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