Apple TV +: Will Apple break the bank for sports rights?

Ted Lasso, it’s cool, but frankly, what could be better than a real football game on TV? Rumors and predictions are rife about a possible live sports broadcast on Apple TV +.

According to the New York Post, Apple is in talks ” serious “ with Major League Baseball to acquire part of the rights to the very popular American baseball league. Apple and MLB already know each other: Apple has landed a contract to provide teams with iPad Pro and the two players collaborate from time to time on technologies, such as iBeacon and NFC.

Sports section of the Apple TV app (in US and Canada only).

Last year, a rumor of negotiations with the NFL for American football arose, but nothing came of it. Never mind, analyst Dan Ives still believes that Apple will enter the field of sports rights, and not just a little. In a note seen by MacRumors, the analyst estimates that if Apple did not spend billions of dollars to buy a film studio – there was a big opportunity with the MGM finally acquired by Amazon – it is to put these billions in the sport.

We will retort that seen his financial health, the Apple is able to do both – spend lavishly on fiction and sport – but it is clear that it has so far invested in TV + with relative parsimony.

Apple already has a foothold in sports with the Sports section of the Apple TV app, however this editorial-driven section is only available in a handful of English-speaking countries and redirects to broadcasters’ apps.

The Apple team managing the Sports section of the TV app. Brooks Kraft / Apple image.

If the head of services Eddy Cue refuted in 2019 any attempt to acquire sports rights, this idea still seems to be trotting in the mind of this mordu de basket. In addition to past or current negotiations, Apple recruited James DeLorenzo, former head of Amazon sports content in 2020, and recently integrated a mysterious “SportsKit” framework into the TV app.

Amazon has made sport an essential area of ​​development for Prime Video by broadcasting almost all of Ligue 1 in France alone (against an additional subscription of € 12.99 / month) as well as part of Roland-Garros . Asked at the end of last year on the possible interest of Apple in the broadcasting of sports competitions, Tim Cook responded a very vague “We talk about it from time to time”.