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Twitter in talks to livestream NFL games on Apple TV

It would open up live coverage to millions of cord-cutters.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
August 15, 2016
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Reuters/Jonathan Alcorn

Twitter paid $10 million for the rights to stream NFL games and is reportedly talking to Apple about building an Apple TV app, according to the New York Times. That would let fans to watch ten Thursday Night Football games on a big screen using Apple hardware, even without a cable subscription. "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," Twitter CFO Anthony Noto told the NYT.

Twitter started testing live streams during Wimbledon (from a special ESPN feed), though it didn't carry any live games. It reportedly won the right to stream live Thursday Night Football games over rivals like Facebook because it was willing to let the NFL sell the bulk of ads during the stream. The league recently decided to split up Thursday Night Football broadcasts between NBC and CBS, and will carry them on its own NFL Network. The first game between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills will stream on September 15th.

We as a television organization, and the social media platforms are sort of sizing each other up, trying to figure out what the relationship is going to be.

The NFL hasn't said how it's selling ads, or whether it will split any revenue with the networks. However, CBS told the NYT that it's still feeling out the streaming situation with internet companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter. "We as a television organization, and the social media platforms are sort of sizing each other up, trying to figure out what the relationship is going to be," said CBS president David Rhodes.

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