Twitter May Create Apple TV App for NFL Games, Other Live Video
In one month, Twitter will live stream its first NFL Thursday night game, and Apple TV owners may have an easy time watching it on their big screen televisions. News broke in April that Twitter paid the NFL $10 million for the rights to live stream 10 Thursday night games from the 2016 season (see the full schedule). Since that time, Twitter has been active in negotiating live sports deals, signing agreements with Wimbledon, MLB, the NHL, the NBA, and Pac-12 Networks. But Twitter's interface wasn't designed for live video, so the question of how fans would find and watch content has been unclear to many.
In a New York Times article this weekend, the paper announced that Twitter is working with Apple to create an app for the Apple TV. If it happens, it will offer a convenient way for fans to view live sports. Twitter's NFL streams won't require authentication.
No word on whether or not Twitter will create other connected TV or set-top box apps, or why it's starting with Apple TV. Twitter needs all the help it can get to boost its presence: This morning research firm eMarketer released stats predicting that 52.2 million people in the U.S. will actively use Twitter by the end of 2016, a year-over-year increase of only 2.0 percent. That's a downgrade from an eMarketer report in February that forecast an 8.0 percent increase.
eMarketer analyst Oscar Orozco said new users find the product confusing, but thinks investing in live video is a smart way for Twitter to monetize its user base.
Trying to remember where a streaming show is located can be a pain. Apple takes the sting out of video apps by creating one app to rule them all.
For years, over-the-top video providers have struggled to be as good as broadcast. But that's setting the bar too low: They need to be better.
Twitter is keen to democratize the online video experience, and that means offering high quality video over even poor connections.
Noting that Twitter's upcoming Thursday night NFL streams will provide a bare-bones experience, NeuLion calls it a sales tool for Game Pass.
The NFL is furthering its online video experiment. Its deal with Twitter will boost global viewership while improving broadcast ad distribution.
The NFL looks to a post-TV future as it builds a digital portfolio of superior viewing options that will soon be worth over $1 billion per year.