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Apple TV+ is reportedly eyeing NBA streaming rights as its next foray into the sports market. According to sources familiar with the matter, the tech giant has expressed interest in buying carved-out streaming packages for the basketball league, along with Amazon.
While Apple has already made inroads into the sports world with MLB Friday Night Baseball and MLS Season Pass, securing NBA streaming rights is a complex endeavor. Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery hold exclusive negotiation windows that don’t expire until April 2024, which the two companies must waive in order for the NBA to consider outside bids.
Even if the NBA opts not to renew its contracts with Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery, securing the rights could still be challenging for Apple. The company is known for seeking more control over content and contract deals, which has caused issues during negotiations in the past.
In contrast, Amazon may be a stronger candidate for the NBA’s streaming package, as the company has already secured streaming rights for games in Brazil and is known to be less demanding in contract negotiations.
As the streaming market continues to evolve and cord-cutting becomes more prevalent, sports packages have become a key asset for companies looking to promote their brand. While it remains to be seen which company will ultimately win out, the race for NBA streaming rights is sure to be a closely watched competition in the years to come.