Apple's next big thing is... Football? (or Soccer)

While it's hardly the most far fetched of Apple rumors, this has got to be among the most unusual. Yahoo is reporting that Apple is planning to bid for the TV rights to the English Premier League, one of the most popular football (or soccer, if you prefer) leagues in the world.

The report says that Apple plans to expand their Apple TV business, and by implication all of their other businesses, by gaining the rights to original programming. They go on to compare the implications of Apple owning the rights to EPL to Google owning the rights to NFL, but with way more potential for growth. Because, you know, football is about to take the US by storm, or something...

Rumors of Apple's interest in acquiring the rights first came from the Daily Mail, only to be 'confirmed' by 'Apple sources' a few days later by ThePostGame. Such a move could potentially help Apple to gain a huge market segment in the UK. If such a move does actually take place, then it would be expected to see Apple make similar moves on other properties, such as US sports and news.

So, is this what Steve Jobs had in mind when he said that Apple had finally 'cracked' the TV market? Who knows. Even Yahoo admits that it's all just conjecture at this point, but it's an exciting concept. Using streaming technology combined with exclusive programming, as opposed to asking consumers to pay for each episode of programming they purchase, Apple could offer a far better product than anything currently on the market, including their own current model Apple TV. Maybe News Corp's The Daily will be coming to TV screens soon?

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I would imagine that Sky retain the league rights and re transmission rights in almost any form UNLESS the FA have broken down retransmission rights into areas, like Sky, then bbc match of the day and so on.

I'm sure this won't happen as a lot of phone companies here in the UK already retransmit football high lights and that surely has to bring in revenue streams. With that in mind the football govening body will be looking at what brings in the best for them.

Also something noticed, sky have an advert on for Sky Go for iOS and laptop only. I wonder if the Android omission is a sign of something???

Will never happen, the UK rights are £1.5 Billion alone and Sky can afford to lose on this to draw people in. Remember it's not just the rights to show but the production. If ESPN could not do it without Sky's help then Apple has no chance.

Depicus said,
Will never happen, the UK rights are £1.5 Billion alone and Sky can afford to lose on this to draw people in. Remember it's not just the rights to show but the production. If ESPN could not do it without Sky's help then Apple has no chance.

I don't think they want the whole rights do thet, I thought they wanted internet streaming?

evo_spook said,

I don't think they want the whole rights do thet, I thought they wanted internet streaming?


skys sports and other sky channels are streamed live - skyplayer

I'm anxious for the next Apple TV. Not because I want a next-gen Apple TV... but because I want to pick up the current gen Apple TV for <$50.

Maybe this is what the warchest has been for? Rather than trying to get content providers to agree terms, get enough money to be able to own all the important content themselves?

DomZ said,
Maybe this is what the warchest has been for? Rather than trying to get content providers to agree terms, get enough money to be able to own all the important content themselves?

Wonders how Sony with its massive music and film catalogue plainly sucked at doing something like this years ago

evo_spook said,

Wonders how Sony with its massive music and film catalogue plainly sucked at doing something like this years ago

Same thing happened with the iPod, Sony could have had the market in the bag, but they faltered, and Apple came in to pick up the win.

If they make it so you need any Apple Hardware and it detracts from the current rights the BBC, Sky or ESPN has. I will really, really be mad. If they are just going to also have rights and just stream it to USA users I guess it will be ok but also give the SPL some cash, the EPL already has enough cash.

Gaffney said,
If they make it so you need any Apple Hardware and it detracts from the current rights the BBC, Sky or ESPN has. I will really, really be mad. .

Okay, but to watch SKY football, you need a SKY box, how would this be any different

evo_spook said,

Okay, but to watch SKY football, you need a SKY box, how would this be any different

you can get sky sports 1+2hd and sky sports 1-4 sd on virgin media and smallworld, i think bt's and tiscali's box get them too.

torrentthief said,

you can get sky sports 1+2hd and sky sports 1-4 sd on virgin media and smallworld, i think bt's and tiscali's box get them too.

Only because Ofcom forced Sky to do that, as it was anti competitive what they were doing. And even still they sell them at a price to other providers at such a high cost it's basically impossible for them to make a profit

Anyway, if this does happen it would be massive for the Apple TV invasion..

people in the UK (and the rest of the developed world minus USA) would be all over it.. way to trojan horse it

I'm all for it... as long as I don't have to by any Apple Hardware or install any Apple Software. Please make it available on-line.

lt8480 said,
I'm all for it... as long as I don't have to by any Apple Hardware or install any Apple Software. Please make it available on-line.

*tries not to laugh* oh comon you know this is to force their iTV or Apple TV device down your throat

neufuse said,

*tries not to laugh* oh comon you know this is to force their iTV or Apple TV device down your throat

Oh god no, Apple aren't trademark thieving again are they? iTV is a well established TV channel in the United Kingdom.

neufuse said,

*tries not to laugh* oh comon you know this is to force their iTV or Apple TV device down your throat

And they'd be stupid not too.

Just a pity they never bought F1

This news is like a week old, and important pretty sure its already been refuted! Heard there is a chance Google will be bidding though

Yeh I don't usually mind when Neowin posts articles that have been covered elsewhere a few days ago, but it's just poor journalism when it starts hitting a week old.

downhillrider said,
i love 0-1 scores
i'll take the bait.

high scoring game does not automatically equal excitement, and conversely nor does the reverse equate to boring..

nil nil thriller, although a tongue in cheek occasionally can actually produce some very good games!

BGM said,
i'll take the bait.

high scoring game does not automatically equal excitement, and conversely nor does the reverse equate to boring..

nil nil thriller, although a tongue in cheek occasionally can actually produce some very good games!

I am NOT a sports fan (AT ALL!) and yet last year I was in a pub here in NYC watching a soccer (cough: REAL football) game and I was very impressed with it. The game is in two 45 minutes sections with no break. Those guys were working their a$$ off!

Yeah, that's what I like about soccer. The clock doesn't stop. NFL football is ok for the first half, then they start messing with the space time continuum so you feel like you're in a time vacuum and fall asleep.

Enron said,
Yeah, that's what I like about soccer. The clock doesn't stop. NFL football is ok for the first half, then they start messing with the space time continuum so you feel like you're in a time vacuum and fall asleep.

While I love the NFL, the 5 minutes if commercials after every pause in the game makes me want to pull my hair out. It's not uncommon to get 15 minutes of commercials and 2 minutes of actual gameplay when turnovers and timeouts occur close together. Basically you're forced to watch commercials after an exciting turnover, etc. It just gets worse and worse every year and it's almost making the games unwatchable. But my #1 will always be soccer (football). The amount of coordination and physical conditioning you need in order to be a good player is ridiculous.

Enron said,
Yeah, that's what I like about soccer.

Now that's one of the main things I hate about football (along with the lack of goalline technology, the referees' reluctance to book most players for clearly diving, and video referees to correct the many decisions referees and linesmen get wrong in Premier League games), because it adds the stopped time into injury time, but it's almost never right, and there have been many instances where more time has been played that was supposed to be played, and a team scores a winning goal in that extra bit of time.