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Twitter in talks with Apple to stream NFL games, other live content on Apple TV

The Apple Inc. logo is shown outside the company's 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S. June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Stephen Lam - RTX2G0BO

LOS ANGELES—Twitter is in discussions with Apple to bring its app to Apple TV—a move that would potentially bring 10 live NFL games and other programming to the set-top this fall, the New York Times reported.

For Twitter, such a deal would dramatically boost its steadily expanding live-video strategy, by reaching Apple TV's base of more than 25 million units. In addition to securing rights to the NFL's "Thursday Night Football" games for a reported $10 million, Twitter has landed deals to stream MLB and NHL games as well as other live sports, as well as Bloomberg Media TV content.

Twitter's live video on Apple TV would provide a lean-back, living-room outlet where users are more inclined to watch longer-form video. Twitter's presentation of live video so far has been through its mobile apps and on PCs, with the live stream accompanied by a string of tweets related to the event.

Apple and Twitter reps have declined to comment.

The report pushed Twitter stock up more than 7% Monday, after investors have been frustrated with the social-media company's sluggish user growth and revenue shortfalls in recent quarters.

Twitter—which beat out Facebook and others for the digital rights to the NFL's "TNF"—last month said it has already sold a "meaningful percentage" of the available ad inventory for the upcoming season, signing on marketers including Anheuser-Busch InBev, Nestle, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Verizon.

The NFL's "Thursday Night Football" games, telecast in the U.S. by CBS, NBC and NFL Network, kick off Sept. 15 with the New York Jets at Buffalo Bills. On Twitter, the NFL streaming feeds will include about 50 ads sold by CBS and NBC, out of the approximately 70 that typically run in a single game.

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