Apple won’t bid for Premier League football due to global rights

Apple won't bid for Premier League football due to global rights

Apple TV+ Rules Out Premier League Broadcasting Rights

Apple TV+

Apple services chief Eddy Cue has effectively ruled out the company’s rumored bid to obtain the broadcasting rights to the English Premier League for Apple TV+. This comes as a disappointment for Apple fans who were eagerly anticipating the possibility of watching Premier League matches on the popular streaming platform.

Reports suggest that Apple has been interested in obtaining the rights to broadcast the Premier League since 2012. Earlier this year, Bloomberg highlighted Apple’s consideration of a bid for the rights to stream the Premier League, as well as lower league matches run by the English Football League, for ‌Apple TV+‌.

However, Cue has now effectively ruled out Apple’s intention to make a bid, citing the inability to obtain global rights as the main reason. The company sought a deal similar to its rights to broadcast Major League Soccer (MLS) worldwide for a period of ten years, which was seen as a “historic first for a major professional sports league.” This commitment to global rights aligns with Apple’s status as a global company with customers in every country, ensuring that no customer feels left out.

Cue further explained the company’s rationale behind the decision. He emphasized the importance of not just exclusivity, but also global availability. Apple believes in providing innovative and groundbreaking content to its users, and investing in the Premier League broadcasting rights would require substantial engineering resources. Cue mentioned the innovative features Apple has introduced for MLS broadcasts, such as the MLS 360 feature and multi-viewing options, and stated that Apple is committed to making significant investments for any partnership it enters into.

Bidding wars for Premier League rights have been commonplace in recent years, with various broadcasting networks vying for the opportunity. Sky Sports and BT Sport have traditionally dominated the scene, but Amazon Prime Video has emerged as a powerful player in recent years. However, the packaging terms ensure that no single broadcaster can acquire rights to all Premier League matches. Therefore, any potential deal between Apple and the Premier League would fall short of full exclusivity, similar to Apple’s MLS deal.

When asked about Apple’s interest in rights to other leagues like UEFA or the Premier League, Cue expressed skepticism about signing deals that are limited to specific countries or a small subset of countries. He emphasized that Apple’s primary focus and priority is the MLS deal, which they want to be a huge success. If Apple were to pursue other deals, it would be because they see them as additional significant opportunities, rather than settling for second best.

It’s worth noting that Apple has been actively pursuing sports content to attract new viewers to ‌Apple TV+‌. The company has already signed deals with Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer, offering an MLS Season Pass on ‌Apple TV+‌ for $14.99 per month or $99 per season. Apple has also expressed interest in acquiring an NBA streaming package, further highlighting their determination to provide a diverse range of sports content to their subscribers.

One of Apple TV+’s most successful shows is the hit sports comedy drama “Ted Lasso,” where an American college football coach is hired to coach an English soccer team. This show highlights Apple’s commitment to blending sports and entertainment, creating unique and appealing content that resonates with viewers.

While Apple TV+ may not be able to secure Premier League broadcasting rights at the moment, it remains a platform that continues to evolve and expand its sports content offerings. As Apple continues to invest in innovative technologies and forge partnerships, it’s only a matter of time before they make another significant splash in the world of sports broadcasting.