Apple plane to change the way the world watches sports. And one of the company’s first moves, after last fall announcing a 10-year deal worth a reported $2.5 billion deal to serve as MLS’s primary broadcast partner, was to give Messi a percentage of the revenue generated from new subscriptions to MLS Season Pass, its broadcast package.
This was a mostly unprecedented arrangement, and perhaps a necessity of doing business with Messi, who had turned down a rumored billion-dollar offer to play in Saudi Arabia. It was also Apple’s biggest move yet into the big, burly business of sports—and served as notice that the most valuable company on earth was not just willing but eager to break with tradition in the process.
The man leading Apple’s push into the wild, lucrative world of live sports broadcasting is Eddy Cue… One critical part of Cue’s portfolio is Apple TV+, the company’s entrant in the streaming wars. And in this war, sports have emerged as a vital weapon. In our ever-more-fractured entertainment landscape, live sports represent perhaps the last best way for distributors—both tech companies like Apple and cable stalwarts like ESPN—to convene a large, reliable audience. Per Nielsen, 94 of the 100 most-watched US TV broadcasts in 2022 were sporting events, with NFL accounting for 82 of those, and 19 of the top 20.
And so Cue and Apple are methodically working their way into deals with leagues and broadcasters—a Major League Baseball deal here, a rumored Pac-12 offer there. Recently, the company has been rumored as a potential “strategic partner” for—or outright acquirer of—ESPN. “I think sports is something that is going to continue to grow in importance,” he told me, “but it’s clear that the path that it’s on now is not the right one. And so, what is it? That gave us an opportunity to participate, or to get in the game around it and see if we could shape the future of it. And we’ll see. It’s early, but I think the opportunity’s there.”
MacDailyNews Take: There’s no compnay better revolutionize the way we watch sports than Apple, especially with the Apple Vision Pro launch looming!
There’s much more in the full article – recommended – here.
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