Apple is ready to spend billions on live streaming

Apple TV+ Sports | Apple MLS partnership

Apple is looking forward to live sports to challenge big streaming names like Netflix and Disney+. The ever-popular tech giant Apple is all set to spend billions in the domain of live sports and streaming to drive subscribers to the Apple TV+ streaming service platform. Many investors have reported that Apple has regularly talked with the famous Major Sports Leagues. 

Apple recently signed a 10-year partnership deal with MLS (Major League Soccer). They have guaranteed to repeatedly pay a minimum of $250 million yearly to another popular source, the American Soccer League. This deal gives Apple permission and exclusive media rights globally to stream every MLS match. This move also follows a continuous compact with Major League Baseball in order to stream two typical season matches every Friday night. Rumors also indicate that Apple has secured some rights and ticket packages for NFL’s Sunday match.

United States of MLS: A map of the closest stadium to every county | Credit: @BerkEhrmantraut

Is Apple deriving good value for the money?

As mentioned, Apple is on the verge of spending billions on sports to accelerate the growth and development of its streaming sector. The deal between Apple and MLS is attractive due to specific reasons. Firstly, the value is structured based on a minimum revenue share amount with a guaranteed $250 million. If Apple sells more and acquires more subscribers, MLS also benefits. This resembles the fact that the league will perhaps push the deal further and help achieve subscribers for Apple TV+ to maximize the deal’s potential. Isn’t this an interesting strategy from Apple’s end, likely to win the bid for media rights? 

On the other hand, the second important aspect is that the games are excluded from regional broadcast blackouts. Mostly, leagues are protective about broadcasting or television broadcast rights, and they black out local leagues or tournaments, pushing the enthusiasts to subscribe to cable stuff. Apple’s deal allows fans to watch the leagues without a cable connection. Some competitors have a particular interest in getting consumers stuck to cable subscriptions. Unlike this, Apple has no personal interest in such deals. Instead, it benefits from cord-cutting and shifts people more to streaming platforms. Not spending on cable subscriptions creates room for more streaming services.

Also, the popularity of MLS is growing every day, which is a positive sign for Apple and hints at the fact that the operator is getting a good value for its money. MLS surpassed NHL (National Hockey League) as last year’s fourth-most famous sports league in the United States. NHL demanded $600 million a year for the US media rights. Hence, NHL has comparatively more games this season, but the twist in the scenario because Apple’s deal with MLS lets it distribute matches internationally. Apple is on its move to promote the MLS league service with its Apple TV+. The subscribers also get free access to particular games that would increase the fan base substantially and infuriate interest levels at a $4.99 monthly subscription with video-on-demand service. Correspondingly, MLS fans will be signing up to access every service through the streaming platform, providing plenty of opportunities to Apple for upselling subscribers.

The idea of winning

Sports has taken the lead further, considering sports betting in the United States; multiple betting operators are already streaming live. BetMGM sportsbook Kansas has facilitated fans with numerous opportunities to make winnings and exhilarate their experiences with leagues and tournaments. Sports rights have become the next outstanding category to increase the growth of streaming services. 

Meanwhile, it can be a consequential differentiator considering a streaming service with multiple new competitors. The increase in the competition is creating a tangible impact on the subscriber count. The idea of winning is closely associated with the company pushing its move toward live streaming and keeping its fans engaged while reducing churn. 

Merging with famous sports tournaments and leagues can be a promotional tool for streaming platforms like Apple TV. The service provider gets the branding rights no matter whichever mode the fans select for their favorite games. Apple always gets its branding done in front of its subscribers with a relevant message. This is a suitable form of ad integration performed by Apple; this is exceptionally worthy for pushing the signup count. 

Apple’s vice president of services said that for the first time in sports history, fans would get a chance to access the complete match’s perspective from a professional sports league arena resting in one specific place. It is a dream come true for almost every MLS fan. 

USA Today: MLS and Apple announce 10-year broadcasting deal for Apple TV+ Sports

Apple is anticipated to spend billions of dollars on sports leagues and sports rights. The sooner it adjusts to these deals, the better progress it can make and the better value for money it receives. Sports rights are continuously increasing their importance in the current world scenario with the ever-growing popularity of sports. Some investors might not agree to the deals, but the potential worth every bet brings is worth a value altogether. Apple becomes a live example of this scenario. 

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