On Thursday, Twitter will stream its first NFL game, a Thursday Night Football matchup between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.
On Wednesday, it launched set-top box apps for three different platforms so that people can actually watch that NFL game on their living room television.
Twitter is launching new apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Xbox, which will feature the company’s NFL livestreams as well as its other livestreaming video offerings. That includes video streams from other Twitter partners like the NBA and Bloomberg, plus video content from Twitter-owned properties like Periscope and Vine.
The apps present a different version of Twitter from the one its 313 million users are used to using. They won’t let you log in to your Twitter account and tweet or “Like” or follow, or even check out your Twitter timeline. But it also means you don’t need a Twitter account to watch the NFL streams, or any of the other streams, from your television.
Livestreaming Thursday’s NFL contest is the most important product milestone Twitter’s had since it launched, well, Moments. Yes, it’s a regular-season NFL game between two mediocre teams. But Twitter has re-focused the company around livestreaming video, and its deal with the NFL is the centerpiece of that new strategy.
Twitter has been tinkering with different live video formats all summer, but Thursday’s stream won’t be considered a test. It’s go time for Twitter, hence the three new apps, and the company needs to deliver some kind of audience to convince the NFL and investors that watching football on Twitter is in some way better than (or at least different from) watching on another platform, like CBS or NBC.
The new apps help by bringing the game to a place people already watch football: Their television sets. But they also provide a way for Twitter to show off its other video content in the hope of eventually luring new users into the full Twitter experience. The message seems to be: We have great stuff we think you’ll enjoy even if you don’t want to tweet.
We’ll see if it works. Twitter isn’t the only place to stream the NFL’s Thursday Night game. CBS, which is producing the actual broadcast Twitter is getting, will stream the game through its tablet app and CBS.com. Verizon will also stream the game on mobile devices through the NFL Mobile app.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.