Apple is considering bidding for the streaming rights to Premier League games in the United Kingdom, as well as lower league matches run by the English Football League football games, Bloomberg News reports Thursday citing “people familiar with the situation.”
Giles Turner for Bloomberg News:
Such a move would build on Apple’s recent expansion into live sports in the US, where it forged a $2.5 billion 10-year deal with Major League Soccer to show games on its TV+ platform. The company also streams Major League Baseball on Friday nights. And one of the streaming service’s most popular TV series, Ted Lasso, follows a fictional Premier League team coached by an American.
MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last July, “We have an exceedingly difficult time believing that “Ted Lasso” will only run three seasons.”
In December 2020, co-creator Bill Lawrence said that “Ted Lasso” would likely end after just season 3 because Sudeikis has a family with young children, and likely will not want to be spending half of each of these precious years in London, an ocean apart from his kids.
“Ted Lasso” is Apple TV+’s main tentpole. Apple will make a monetary offer that Sudekis cannot refuse and the rest is simple: Ted Lasso, after successfully topping the EPL, finds himself in high demand and, lured by big money in America, moves back home along with Coach Beard, Coach Kent, (and possible others) to coach a Major League Soccer team in the U.S. in Season 4. — MacDailyNews, March 7, 2022
With Apple TV+ now owning the MLS broadcast rights worldwide for the next 10 years, the tie-in potential is just too strong for us to imagine that “Ted Lasso” will wrap after Season 3. – MacDailyNews, July 20, 2022
Apple has enlisted sports media veterans Jim DeLorenzo and Frank Uddo in building its streaming platform, and they will “know the value that international football can bring to the system,” said Peter Hutton, who previously served as a media partnerships executive at Meta Platforms Inc.
Offering the games may be a more effective way to attract viewers overseas than other fare, he said.
“Apple will be looking closely at their early data on MLS and MLB experiments, but the unique ability of sport to change a predefined audience’s behavior means it’s a safer bet than entertainment content to grow the Apple TV international market,” said Hutton, who’s also the former head of the Eurosport network.
MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, an absolutely brilliant idea – even if it is about to celebrate its 10th birthday:
Cook should consider bidding for and winning NFL Sunday Ticket away from DirecTV, buying rights to Premiere League and La Liga games, etc. and making them Apple TV exclusives. Go directly to the sports leagues with boatloads of cash. — MacDailyNews, May 6, 2014
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Soccer fans would have to buy Apple TV, iPhones/iPads or Mac computer to watch their precious leagues??? Yeah – Good luck with that. Not the fan of soccer here, but I know more than few soccer fans and even that some are users of Apple products they think the soccer space is larger then the Apple space. Making Premier League exclusive on Apple would create another sort of an “Apple U2 album gift” debacle, but much worse. However making Premier League “available” on Apple TV would not be such counterproductive. Opposite. It would just not be an Apple way. Apple is famous for making money from devices everyone loves to use and providing them a unique experience and content. But you must understand, that the soccer existed way before Apple. There are still soccer fans who moved from normal phones to smartphones because they had no choice, but they wouldn’t care about their whole user experience on their smartphones and still use them for calls only. For them buying a Sky TV broadband with football package or call someone on WhatsApp is furthest they can go. Do you think Apple think it would be a great idea to alienate them too? And what about clubs, themselves? They have to care about their fanbase. They meet with Apple and to idea of Premier League exclusive on Apple they’ll respond “it’s not gonna happen”. I’m sure! Maybe in 20 years. Maybe. You seem to quote a lot of yourselves from the past, MacDailyNews, like you were right than, because something is happening now. But that “something” back then couldn’t happen, or didn’t make much financial sense, because technology wasn’t scalable beyond the proof of concept or the deals wasn’t possible because people wasn’t ready and so on. That’s not a proof that you were right back then. You only imagined where something is heading or should be heading to… which is great skill! But it’s not a proof that back then something you said should materialise right away. If what you’ve pushed in the past was turned by powers that be at Apple into radical revolution instead taking evolutionary steps it most certainly would be a financial, operational and brand reputation disaster. I’m sure you and your readers know that?
Nobody has to “buy Apple TV, iPhones/iPads or Mac computer to watch.”
Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions, on over 1 billion screens, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, VIZIO, TCL and others, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast with Google TV, PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles, and at tv.apple.com.
I thought this was about real football, like maybe that new non-NFL league that’s about to start, but no, this is metric football again. Ugh.