Apple is reportedly looking to expand its array of live sports on Apple TV+ by acquiring rights to stream Premier League football in the UK.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, over the weekend, Apple plans to enter the bidding when rights come up for grabs once again in 2025.
While that’s still a couple of years away, the erstwhile source of right wing propaganda reckons Apple plans to rival Sky and BT in an effort that “would transform the way the top flight is broadcast in this country.”
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The report says the tender process for the next round of rights will start later this year, with Apple planning on matching what Sky and BT put down every season. However, in our opinion, it’s more likely Apple bids for the limited streaming rights currently possessed by Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon gets 20 games per season, or two match days, between 2022 and 2025. This has been quite revolutionary in terms of enabling UK viewers to watch every game, even if it kicks off at 3:00pm on a Saturday, a time previously blacked out.
The Premier League rights package went for £4.8 billion in 2021, covering 2022 to 2025. Amazon is believed to have paid around £100 million for those 20 games a season, so Apple would presumably have to top that in order to gain the rights in 2025.
If Apple had bolder ambitions, such as supplanting Sky Sports – which has held the majority of the rights for 30 years – it would probably involve paying upward of £4 billion. Cash-rich Apple certainly has those resources, but whether it would allocate such sums on Premier League football, which it could only show in a single country, remains to be seen.
Given the company’s strategy to date has involved being able to show Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer in multiple Apple TV+ territories, we find this even more unlikely. Should BT and Sky be worried? Probably not, but Amazon perhaps should be.