Thursday, January 5, 2012

Apple Reportedly Bidding on English Premier League Broadcasting Rights

Missed this interesting tidbit of news last night, but Apple is apparently bidding on the rights to stream English Premier League football (soccer) to its customers.

The Daily Mail (who is notorious for stirring up rumors without sources) claims that both Apple and Google are looking to secure streaming rights to the EPL. The deal presents a lucrative business opportunity for the company who eventually does secure the rights granted the EPL’s popularity in the U.K.

The current deal with Sky Sports will terminate at the end of this season with ESPN, and Al Jazeera already expressing interesting in securing the rights for their own channels. Securing the rights will no doubt be expensive as Sky Sports current deal cost the company roughly $2.5 billion. Apple currently streams (via subscription) NBA, NHL and MLB games for U.S. owners. Securing a deal with the EPL would give Apple a massive marketing tool to increase interest in Apple TV in the U.K.

However, the competition during a bidding war for EPL rights, if it did erupt, would be fierce. Apple, Google, and other entities could likely drive the price up through the stratosphere. I can see Google artificially driving the price up just to see how much cash Apple would be willing to throw down before backing out. Apple by far has the most purchasing power out of any of the rumored entities.

And who knows, if the rumored Apple Television sets are on the way, this could be a huge selling point for the yet-to-be confirmed product.

Source: The Daily Mail