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In an exclusive interview with GQ, Apple’s luminary Eddy Cue lays out his vision for Apple’s burgeoning sports ventures. The tech giant’s foray into the sporting realm has been nothing short of groundbreaking, with Cue eyeing even grander prospects on the horizon.
Cue exudes confidence in the triumph of the Apple-MLS partnership, particularly after the meteoric rise following Lionel Messi’s entry into the league. Yet, beneath this success lies a hunger for a more significant breakthrough, signaling that Apple is poised to make a seismic impact when the opportune moment arises.
Unveiling a side not widely known, Cue’s personal sports fervor shines through. His home boasts an impressive array of nine televisions, meticulously arranged for multi-sport immersion, complemented by a dedicated score ticker display.
Reflecting on his initial stance towards MLS, Cue candidly admits he wasn’t an avid follower. He candidly opines that he viewed the league as undersized, hinting at Apple’s unrestrained ambitions in the sports streaming arena. Whispers suggest that Apple has its sights set on securing NBA rights in the 2025 renewal.
For Cue, sports epitomize the pinnacle of unscripted drama, and Apple is committed to delivering nothing short of excellence in this arena. The tech titan’s emphasis lies in crafting unparalleled unscripted content for Apple TV+.
Distinguishing itself from marginal regional deals, Apple found a game-changing opportunity in the MLS. It wasn’t merely a rights package; it was an all-encompassing global rights deal, covering every game in the league. This transformative partnership, forged in 2021, culminated in a monumental $2.5 billion deal in June 2022.
Initial indications show Apple’s service meeting, and in some cases surpassing, the demand witnessed on linear TV for MLS. While specific subscriber and viewership figures remain undisclosed, Cue divulges that they align closely with traditional television metrics, pre-Messi’s game-changing arrival.
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In a testament to Apple’s commitment to excellence, Cue actively seeks feedback from MLS club owners to enhance the user experience. Notably, one owner advocated for the inclusion of league standings on the Apple TV app, a suggestion swiftly implemented.
On a lighter note, Cue humorously asserts that his only triumph over the legendary Steve Jobs was in the realm of sports. Despite numerous opportunities to dabble as a minor investor in sports teams, Cue’s aspirations extend beyond passive ownership. His fervor has ultimately found its ideal outlet through Apple’s expanding footprint in the sports industry.