Apple To Bid For English Premier League Rights For Apple TV [Rumor]



Apple is reportedly gearing up to bid for English Premier League streaming rights that would allow it to show live matches through its Apple TV and iOS devices. The Cupertino company hopes the content will boost sales of its set-top box and the iPad in the U.K.

Apple will go up against a number of broadcasters in the “billion-pound battle” when the TV rights for the English Premier League next go to tender before the end of this season, according to a report from British tabloid The Daily Mail.

One of those competitors will be Sky, which paid £1.6 billion (approx. $2.5 billion) for its current packages, and currently offers to largest selection of Premier League games in the U.K. It will be joined by ESPN, which says it is determined to secure more Premier League content next season, and the Middle Eastern network Al Jazeera.

Apple’s bid is said to provide the Premier League with a “hugely competitive market at a time when the price of other TV sports rights are in decline.” And as the report notes, Apple already has the infrastructure to handle a subscription service through iTunes.

Premier League games are big business for broadcasters in the U.K., which is why they sell for billions of dollars each year. For a basic Sky TV package with the sports channels included, Sky subscribers can expect to pay at least £40 (approx. $63) per month.

[via The Daily Mail]

  • Stanislav Rastvorov

    Oh! I’m waiting for this for many years! 
    Hope, it’s true, and it will be available in US too. I don’t have UK iTunes account.. 

  • Chris Barker

    If Apple included live Premiership TV it’d sell millions in the UK purely off the back of that.

  • joe the mac

    Don’t bank on that, SKy has a large subscriber base which remains largely static even with PL football, you can also subscribe via Virgin etc and can already watch on your ipad/iphone or desktop with Sky Go.
    It doesnt follow that because a broadcaster has rights the fans flock, especially when an investment has already been made in a contract and services for that broadcaster.
    The likely scenario is that Apple will be made to offer the broadcasts on other mediums (Sky/Al Jazeera whoever) and the status quo will remain.

    Over time this may change in favour of Apple, but they need a hell of a lot more than PLF to offer up.


  • Al

    The Daily Mail? Do a Google search for “The Onion” you’ll find it to be a far more reliable newspaper. The Dandy and the Beano are also much better, certainly more ethical.

  • csman

    That would be a premier goal for Apple.

  • Stuart Otterson

    In my own humble opinion I feel you underestimate the importance of live Premier League football to Sky. A little look at history will bring the same story, Sky (in its various forms back in the early 90s) were a struggling satellite television service whom had no traction until they had the exclusive broadcasting rights to the newly formed Premier League which benefited the clubs as they didn’t have to share the cut of the TV revenue with the rest of the football league whilst Sky benefited from making people having to subscribe in order to see their teams play live on TV.

    Everything Sky is today could never have come about without that momentous piece of business. Now I think you’re right that a certainly percentage won’t move because they have set up their contract and broadband and whatnot but I think those are largely the ones who don’t care about football (fair enough).

    However whoever has the football rights will have the football viewership, fact.

    Plus there’s a minority who will look for any excuse to leave a part-owned Murdoch company.

  • David Mckreel

    It’s an interesting idea and presumably the idea would be to provide the EPL as a football equivalent of streaming MLB. The huge drawback here would be the generally low broadband speeds in the UK during peak hours. I subscribe to MLB and have watched it via my appletv and when it works the picture is great as is the sound, however living in the UK and trying to watch a live MLB game in the early evening here in the UK say between 6pm and 10 pm was quite frankly a pita. Most broadband packages here in the UK have data caps and live streaming with good pic quality will just suck up the data cap.