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Twitter Bringing NFL Games to Apple TV (Report)

As Twitter looks to gain more active users and Apple searches for live content for its Apple TV, the two may have found reason to partner up. According to a new report from the New York Times yesterday (August 14), Twitter may be making an Apple TV app that would bring the social network's live video offerings (including live NFL games) to the set-top box platform.

This mutually beneficial partnership is possible thanks to Twitter's victory in a bidding war for the exclusive streaming rights to Thursday Night Football games. Not always known for grinding out a win, Twitter defeated a handful of rivals including Facebook, and it will stream its first football game on September 15.

NFL content can already be found on Apple TVs for paying subscribers of NFL Game Pass, but Twitter is aiming to make streaming easier. Twitter CFO Anthony Noto boasts that the Thursday night streamed games will require "no paywall, no logging in and [come] directly from the source."

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This isn't the only live content Twitter can offer Apple, as it signed deals with the NBA, MLB, NHL, Wimbledon, the Pac-12 Networks and CBS News. The Twitter app could potentially provide more, as the company is reportedly conducting similar talks with Major League Soccer and the Professional Golfers Association.

Providing access to such live events may make Twitter a must-have app on Apple TV, which many may have turned to after cutting the cord on their traditional subscription services. While Apple doesn't disclose sales numbers, analysts have predicted Apple will sell around 24 million of the 4th generation Apple TV, the version of the device that could support the Twitter app. That potentially-large installation base could help Twitter solve its flagging user problems.

Twitter may find a second-calling as a set-top box-based app, as many value the platform for its ability to deliver up-to-the-minute breaking news. If Twitter is well-integrated throughout the Apple TV, it could also be used as the de facto service for updating your friends on the best shows to stream and games to play.

Twitter's plethora of content also fits into a recently reported "Apple TV Guide" feature that may be coming to the platform to help users find the best shows that are on right now. The social network is clearly taking live video seriously, and that could mean a whole bunch of free live video content for Apple TV owners.

As for Twitter, it can use all the help it can get, as the service has had trouble growing in the face of more sticky services like Instagram and Snapchat. Twitter had 313 million monthly active users as of the end of the second quarter, up only slightly from 310 million in the previous quarter.

Twitter's stock was up on the news by over 6.5 percent on the news in mid-day trading.