Twitter wants an Apple TV app in time for the NFL season

Twitter's vision for its NFL games apparently includes making it easier to watch the games on your television.

Twitter is everywhere these days, except on Apple TV. That may change soon, however, due to the social network’s new streaming deal with the National Football League. Twitter is in talks with Apple to brings its app to Apple TV, according to The New York Times. That way NFL fans could stream Thursday night free “Twitter games” to their televisions instead of watching them on a PC, smartphone, or tablet.

The Times doesn’t mention any other streaming boxes, but presumably Twitter is also looking at Roku—as well as building Chromecast support into its apps. The NFL already broadcasts live games on Apple TV via Game Pass, but only for fans outside of the United States.

When Twitter and the NFL announced their streaming deal in April it was part of the football league’s “tri-cast” approach that puts live games on regular broadcast TV, cable, and the Internet. Twitter won the right to stream 10 Thursday night games during the 2016-2017 season.

Twitter’s plans for its NFL games go well beyond just watching the game as you would on regular TV. The social network has a vision that includes distributing game highlights, and pre-game Periscope broadcasts by players and teams.

Why this matters: Twitter coming to the Apple TV didn’t make a ton of sense until recently. Who really wanted to view their text-based Twitter stream on a TV, after all? But now Twitter has various rich media embeds, and a growing stable of sports streaming deals. Since the NFL deal announced in April, Twitter has struck similar agreements with Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Plus, Twitter will also distribute two live shows from the National Basketball Association—a deal that does not include live game streams.

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Ian Paul

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