Sportsball Is Rumoured to Be Coming to the Apple TV via Twitter

Mike Isaac, New York Times (there’s autoplaying video with audio because the Times apparently hates their readers):

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.


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.

I didn’t get this rumour at first. Why would Apple and Twitter need to talk about doing an app? Can’t Twitter just build the app?

But then Abdel Ibrahim pointed out that there might be some kind of deal-sweetening exclusive arrangement at play here, which makes complete sense to me. It’s pretty widely known that Apple has been aching to build a full television experience into the Apple TV. If Apple can secure an exclusive app for Twitter’s live streaming deals, they might be able to bypass individual negotiations with each of the leagues and events at play here.

This also gives me an opportunity to remind you that “soccer is but one ball away from the ancient non-sport of fast running back and forth,” which remains one of the most succinct expressions of any sport I’ve ever heard. Then again, I like Formula 1, which is but twenty-odd engines away from the ancient non-sport of sitting in a chair and sweating profusely.