Twitter Brings Live Streaming (and Thursday Night Football) to TV

NJ.com
Twitter's live streaming service has been slowly but surely gaining ground, with more and more deals being signed and ventures emerging. A few months ago they covered Wimbledon, got the rights to stream CBS's political convention coverage and a number of different Bloomberg TV programs.

Now they've taken another major step by releasing apps for Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Xbox One, all of which include Twitter's live streaming service, and the next 10 NFL Thursday Night Football games. This kicked off with the week 2 (September 15th) match up between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, and the public response has already been very positive.

Users with the app will be able to watch the games from anywhere in the world (except Canada, who have a separate deal with the NFL), and view a feed of relevant tweets parallel to the broadcast. Later, the same kind of availability will apply to content from the MLB, NHL, NBA, EPL (via Sky) Cheddar News, Bloomberg News and the Pac-12 college sport networks. Even if you have neither a Twitter account, nor a paid TV subscription, you can still use the app.

The local availability really depends on which version of the app you're using. It's available worldwide on Apple TV and most markets on Xbox One, but only the US and UK on Amazon Fire. Even if users can't access the apps, the streams are, of course, available pretty much universally on desktop and mobile.



There were a few teething problems with the first game, the foremost being that the Twitter feed lagged a bit behind the actual television broadcast, but that's the internet for you. Some complaints were also made about buffering, but that likely had more to do with connection speed. The feed on display during the game was Twitter's curated Thursday Night Football one, and some said that the option to simply view your own personal feed would have been preferable.

Twitter have never exactly been reluctant to take user suggestions on board, and despite the gripes the first broadcast was very successful overall. Now that the word is out, the viewer count should continue to rise week to week, and before too long Twitter could be as much of household name on TV as it is online. Facebook and Snapchat need to really step their game up.

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