Bloomberg – Apple Inc. (AAPL) is set to bid for broadcast rights to a handful of English football matches, according to people familiar with the situation, a move that would boost its sporting ambitions and increase competition with Apple’s Prime Video service. Amazon.com Company (AMZN).
The rights under consideration would allow Apple to broadcast Premier League matches in the UK, as well as minor league matches organized by the English Football League (EFL), Two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private, said.
The move would build on Apple’s recent expansion into live sports in the US, where it advanced a 10-year, $2.5 billion deal with Major League Soccer to broadcast matches on its TV+ platform. The company also broadcasts Major League Baseball on Friday nights. Among the most popular TV series on the live broadcast service, It revolves around a fictional English Premier League team whose manager is American.
Getting into English football would pit Apple against established media companies such as Sky and Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. subsidiary of Comcast Corp. It could also pit it against Amazon, which has become a powerhouse in European football streaming.
An Apple spokesperson declined to comment. The Premier League declined to comment on whether Apple had shown any interest in bidding on its next batch of rights. Meanwhile, an EFL spokesperson said the league was currently reviewing potential bidders for the sale of its next rights.
Apple launched its TV+ streaming service in 2019 and created a platform known for flashy series featuring big stars. But the company wasn’t as ambitious as Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co. in competition for subscribers. Many of its users watch TV+ for free through the trial versions that come with the purchase of other Apple products.
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