Bloomberg: Apple Considering Bid for English Premier League Streaming Rights in the UK

Apple is considering a bid for the rights to stream the English Premier League in the United Kingdom, among other lower league matches run by the English Football League, according to a Bloomberg report citing "people familiar with the situation."

Premier League Logo
From the report:

The rights under consideration would allow Apple to show Premier League games in the UK, as well as lower league matches run by the English Football League, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.

If Apple went ahead with the plan, it would become the fourth major player in contention to purchase domestic broadcasting rights for top-flight soccer (or football, as it's called outside North America).

That would likely see a marked increase in the current £5.1 billion ($6.23 billion) valuation for domestic EPL rights, which operates on a three-year renewal cycle. Tender rights are currently being reviewed, with existing rights for the current three-year period set to expire in 2025.

Recent years have seen bidding wars play out between Sky Sports, BT Sport, and Amazon Prime Video, with Sky Sports often being the dominant player, although Amazon has been increasingly wielding its bidding power in recent years. Packaging terms ensure that no one broadcaster gains rights to all English Premier League matches, so any Apple deal for EPL broadcasting rights would necessarily fall short of the exclusivity deal the company successfully negotiated with MLS.

Apple has been pursuing sports content in an effort to attract new viewers to the Apple TV+ streaming service. The company has signed deals with Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer, which is currently available on ‌Apple TV+‌ via an MLS Season Pass priced at $14.99 per month or $99 per season. Apple has also reportedly expressed interest in acquiring an NBA streaming package.

‌Apple TV+‌ is also the home of hit sports comedy drama "Ted Lasso," in which an American college football coach is hired to coach an English soccer team.

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Top Rated Comments

BMox81 Avatar
16 months ago
This is great and all but what everyone really wants is the Premier League to provide one service that has all the games.

All this does is potentially add yet another subscription to proceedings which isn’t needed.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ForkHandles Avatar
16 months ago
"(or football, as it's called outside North America)."

We call it football as it's a game we play with a ball, that you kick with your foot.

I never got why Americans spent all that time correcting English words such as theatre, centre, colour to make them make more sense and then called their ball game, played with hands, football.

Should we start a common sense campaign to rename it to Handball?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chenks Avatar
16 months ago

one of the reasons people voted to leave was that they were annoyed with the interference from the EU
now that is very naïve!

"leavers" voted leave for a few reasons.
- racism/bigotry (a sizeable percent)
- they believed the lies being peddled to them (remember the £350 million a week bus?)
- they have the "little england" mentality

even the fisherman and farmers that though voting leaving was right are now realising it wasn't the right choice.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BMox81 Avatar
16 months ago

that's deemed "anti competitive" though, which is why the EPL aren't allowed to have just 1 provider holding all the rights.

of course, it's a flawed system though.
it works fine if someone is only interested in watching a couple of games, which means they can subscribe to 1 package showing the lowest games, however if someone wants to watch all the games they, at the moment, have to subscribe to 3 different providers (Sky, BT and Amazon).

i'm sure the EPL would love to be able to sell 100% of the rights to just 1 provider, it would drive the price up and make for a good auction, but they aren't allowed it.
There isn’t anything anti-competitive in the Premier League creating their own service. It’s their content after all.

The current format makes it so that no one service can have all the games and is why as you said, we have the three services showing the games. And of course the PL like this as it drives up the cost of the packages.

And is also why many people go down the IPTV route or stream the games illegally.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tomtad Avatar
16 months ago
Hopefully this opens up the possibility of all games to be streamed legally. The amount of games that you aren't able to watch live in the UK, mainly due to the archaic 3pm black out, is ridiculous.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Duncan-UK Avatar
16 months ago

Originally i wrote it cant be the case, but on checking it was. Why did the EU get involved in this, and not in any other European League's tv rights?

i cant think of any european country which has such a convoluted rights split.
the only reason Portuguese games are split are that Benfica choose to show their own games, everything else is SportTV. In i think 2027, it will go back to collective selling and it will almost certainly mean all games are on SportTV.

and when you think about it, its a very British way of dealing with it. take a situation which isnt broken, announce you are going to introduce competition which will make it better for the consumers, and make it much worse for them but companies make more money. What would promote competition would be to ban them from selling exclusive rights to anything, meaning two different companies could buy the rights for the same games or the whole package.
I think its a very EU way of thinking... That a company that loses exclusivity should then reduce its price to reflect this...

The sort of painful naivety that only exists in Brussels.

What is British is to take this instruction and gold plate it - one of the reasons people voted to leave was that they were annoyed with the interference from the EU - without possibly realising that it was the UK Civil Service that was the main villain over zealously applying the rules. Most other Member States merely pay lip service and ignore anything they dont want.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)