According to a new report from The Daily Mail, Apple is preparing a bid to obtain the rights to stream the English Premier League in the United Kingdom.
[Update; March 23, 2022: Now, Bloomberg has confirmed that Apple is indeed considering a bid to acquire streaming right to English Premier League in the UK. The tech giant would show Premier League games and lower league matches run by the English Football League on Apple TV+ in the UK.]
Apple looking to increase its sports coverage for TV+, planning a bid for English Premier League
The British tabloid reports, without identifying its sources, that the Cupertino tech giant is eager to expand its sports coverage by building on the ten-year deal it just obtained to begin exclusively streaming Major League Soccer on Apple TV+ starting next month.
If the rumor is true, it would make Apple the fourth-largest contender for trying to secure the TV rights for the English Premier League.
That would probably result in a significant increase in the domestic EPL rights’ present valuation of £5.1 billion ($6.23 billion), which has a three-year renewal cycle. Later this year, tender rights will be renewed, and the current three-year period’s rights will terminate in 2025.
Sky Sports has frequently been the leading participant in bidding wars between BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video, and Sky Sports in recent years. Any Apple agreement for English Premier League broadcasting rights, however, would inevitably fall short of the exclusivity agreement the company successfully struck with Major League Soccer since packaging restrictions ensure that no one broadcaster acquires access to all EPL matches.
A serious bid from Apple is the biggest threat to Sky Sports’ dominance of Premier League coverage since they gained exclusive rights to the competition in 1992, as they have the financial clout to challenge them.
In related news, it was recently reported that Apple is looking for a TV content-focused ad sales executive for Apple TV+. The tech giant also plans to display ads during MLS games when the season kicks off in February. The tech giant seems determined to increase its sports coverage for Apple TV+. Only time will tell how customers will respond to this.