The San Francisco 49ers host the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football in Week 5 this fall, and it will be part of the NFL’s deal with Twitter. The game will be broadcast live on CBS and simulcast on Twitter, but it will also be streamed live on Twitter.
To answer your first question, no, you do not need to have a Twitter account to watch the live stream. It will be available on an event-specific Twitter.com page that anybody can access on a browser or on their phone. If you want to see how it will work, Twitter is currently live-streaming Day 9 of Wimbledon. If you go to that link, you’ll see the following screen:
At some point, I would hope the NFL will provide streaming access to every game. I imagine plenty of people would pay for the right to watch games, similar to what MLB offers with MLB.TV. They do not need to remove ads, and in fact, they can sell even more ads with a stream of the game. And it will give more people access to watch their team. Right now, people are left scavenging around for illegal streams, or hoping the game shows up on the Red Zone channel. And when your team is coming off a bad run, like the 49ers, there aren’t nearly as many national broadcasts. Adding a full streaming option seems logical, even as the NFL considers slow-playing this whole thing.