Apple ‘Ready to Spend Billions’ on Live Sports Content Over Next Four Years

Apple is on an “aggressive hunt” for potential deals that would allow it to broadcast live sports content on its TV + streaming service as part of a broader effort to increase subscriptions, according to a new report from investment firm Wedbush.

In a new investor note, seen by MacRygter, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said he sees Apple’s decision not to acquire a film studio yet as a clear indication that it now sees live sports programming as potentially a key piece in its future success in expanding the audience for its video streaming service.

Apple has not provided details on ‌Apple TV + ‌ subscriber numbers since the digital streaming service launched, but Wedbush estimates that ‌Apple TV + ‌ has about 20 million paid subscribers among about 45 million viewers, the rest of which watch free trial versions included with other Apple- product purchases.

That’s a fraction of the number of subscriptions that Disney + and Netflix enjoy. Knowing this, Apple is apparently “ready to spend billions” on live sports content over the next four years to drive the future growth of ‌Apple TV + ‌ and make it a key engine for revenue generation in its burgeoning service ecosystem, which earned the $ 80 billion in annual revenue in the most recent fiscal year.

As Apple spends $ 7 billion annually on original content and has about $ 200 billion in cash on its balance sheet, we believe the company is preparing to bid on a number of upcoming sports packages that will be contracted / renewed in the coming years . We note that upcoming sports packages that could potentially be offered over the next four years that Apple may be involved in (in some capacity / semi-exclusive) are: NFL (Sunday Night Ticket), Big Ten, Pac 12, Big East, Big 12, other NCAA sports packages (2024 timing), NASCAR and NBA / WNBA.

At present, ‌‌Apple TV + ‌‌ does not offer support for any kind of live TV and only provides access to on-demand TV and movie content, so Apple will have to build a new sports-oriented section with live TV streaming if it completes all agreements.

Earlier this month New York Post reported that Apple has entered into discussions with Major League Baseball about a potential deal that would get the company to broadcast MLB games next season, which would represent a major entry into the world of live sports content.

Its current lack of direct sports access remains a serious loophole in Apple TV’s programming, with competitors like Amazon already boasting established deals. For example, Amazon’s 20 live English Premier League football matches will return in the 2022/23 season, and the company has reached an agreement to broadcast “Thursday Night Football” matches from the fall, for which it paid more than $ 1 billion for access to . .


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