Apple reportedly hires former Amazon exec to head up sports for Apple TV+

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Football
Could Apple TV+ be about to embrace live sports?
Photo: NFL Network

Apple has reportedly hired away Amazon executive Jim DeLorenzo to head up sports for its Apple TV+ streaming video service. DeLorenzo joined Amazon to “run sports” in 2016, says Recode‘s Peter Kafka, who reported the move on Twitter Wednesday.

DeLorenzo joined Amazon to help grow its focus on sports. As Kafka notes, the e-commerce giant’s efforts since then remain “pretty nascent,” although it has made some advances in advances with things like NFL streaming of games and acquiring the rights to some Premier League soccer games.

Maybe he can have more luck at Apple?

Will Apple TV+ get into sports?

Getting into sports is a tall order for Apple TV+, of course. Sports is still heavily locked up by network TV. Apple has the resources to make things difficult for rivals, but this depends on how much it wants to spend.

So far, Apple TV+ has avoided sports-related content. One exception to this is Apple’s upcoming sports documentary seriesGreatness Code. According to Apple, this series — which will debut July 10 — will spotlight “untold stories from the greatest athletes in the world.” Athletes profiled in the series will include NBA star LeBron James, Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady, Olympic gold medalist soccer star Alex Morgan, Olympic runner Usain Bolt, Olympian swimmer Katie Ledecky, and champion surfer Kelly Slater.

Apple executives also reportedly met with officials at the end of 2019 to acquire a stake in the college sports media rights for the Pac-12 Conference. This is the conference that includes UCLA and USC. It has its own cable network, and has also licensed the rights to 100+ big-time football and basketball games to ESPN and Fox. As Deadline has previously pointed out, “Those deals won’t expire until 2024, meaning any Apple involvement until then wouldn’t include the top draws.”

Would you like to see Apple get into the live sports business? Which rights would get you more excited about Apple TV+? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.