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Apple continues to expand its investment in live sports, with recent moves including the addition of MLB Friday Night Baseball and MLS Season Pass to its offerings. However, a new report from The Information suggests that the company is still undecided about whether it will make a bid for the NBA’s media rights.
The NBA is reportedly seeking to triple its current revenue from TV deals by selling a national streaming-only package alongside two national TV deals. While Amazon and Google have expressed interest in acquiring streaming rights, the NBA’s two existing partners for TV deals, ESPN and Warner Bros. Discovery, are said to be looking to reduce spending and potentially cut sports spending to achieve that goal.
This leaves Apple as a major player in the running to bid for the streaming rights. The company was previously involved in negotiations for NFL Sunday Ticket streaming rights, though it ultimately lost out to Google.
The Information’s report suggests that both Amazon and Google have expressed interest in the NBA’s streaming package, with the possibility that some NBA games could be available on Prime Video or YouTube, and potentially even Apple’s platform if the company decides to bid.
If Apple were to enter the fray and make a bid for NBA streaming rights, it could force Amazon and Google to reconsider how much they’re willing to spend. However, it remains to be seen whether or not Apple will ultimately decide to bid. Apple services boss Eddy Cue is known to be a big NBA fan, though that alone may not be enough to sway the company’s decision.
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Apple’s investment in live sports is part of a broader trend among tech companies seeking to expand their offerings and capture a larger share of the media market.
The company has also invested in original content, such as the Apple TV+ streaming service, and recently announced a new podcast subscription service. With its vast resources and reach, it’s clear that Apple is positioning itself as a major player in the future of media consumption.