Early this year, a number of big names were vying for the rights to stream games from the 2016 NFL season online, with Twitter emerging as the victor. Now it seems the company is looking for a way to offer live games to football fans on their TVs instead of their computers or mobile devices.
The social media company is reportedly in talks with Apple about bringing its app to the Apple TV as a way of offering live-streaming events including games from the 2016 NFL season, according to a report from the New York Times. Other live-streaming events like college sports could also be part of the deal, though no other events were mentioned specifically.
Why Twitter needs to discuss the app with Apple remains unclear. With the new tvOS-powered Apple TV, the app ecosystem works similarly to the iOS and Mac app stores, whereas previously, Apple was much more hands-on with Apple TV apps. One reason this could be happening is Apple’s rumored plans for a universal guide that helps viewers find content across various services. The company was reportedly talking to certain content providers about the necessary hooks to provide relevant metadata, which could be happening here.
Where and how to watch NFL games is getting more complicated than ever, with the TV rights split between NBC, CBS, and the NFL’s own NFL Network. The live-streaming situation is less complex, but CBS News president David Rhodes says that networks are still unsure of how to approach working with companies like Twitter.
“We, as a television news organization, and the social media platforms are sort of sizing each other up, trying to figure out what the relationship is going to be,” Rhodes told the New York Times. “Are they distributors? Are they promotional platforms? Are they creators in their own right?”
For the time being, neither Apple or Twitter are commenting on the matter, though we may not have long to wait — the 2016 NFL season kicks off on September 15, and Twitter is planning to stream the season opener between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.