News: Apple Interested in English Premier League?

Posted on January 3, 2012

Looks like Apple may be looking to add more sports to the Apple TV, that is, for users in the United Kingdom. The company is competing with other big media and tech companies, including Google, ESPN, Sky, and Al Jazeera.

Why would Apple do this? By getting the exclusive streaming rights, this would certainly sell a few Apple TVs and/or iPads, but also will further enhance the portfolio of streaming content that Apple has worked into the Apple TV:

The Premier League is seen as the type of premium content that will help establish Apple TV in the UK and boost iPad sales, while the iTunes subscription service infrastructure is already in place…

…The three certain bidders will be Sky, who paid £1.6billion for their current packages, ESPN, who say they are determined to buy more PL content, and Middle East network Al Jezeera, who also have the resources to break the Rupert Murdoch stranglehold on the Premier League.

In contrast the FA have had to accept a 30 per cent-plus drop in the price of a two-year FA Cup and England renewal with ITV. The £42m-a-year deal has been delayed while talks took place over increasing the price for more England matches, but no definite extra dates have been agreed.

To translate for our American readers who say, “So what?! It’s soccer,” it’s a lot like if Apple managed to get the streaming rights to the NFL away from DirecTV. We wouldn’t be surprised if they try to one day.

Update: Now it looks like not so much (via 9to5Mac)…

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