Is Apple Seeking Sports Content To Step Up Apple TV+?

Apple's greater content pursuits for its Apple TV+ streaming service could come with a spike from NFL properties, according to one report. But is that enough?

FrontOfficeSports says Apple is aggressively pursuingthe two main properties -- NFL Sunday Ticket, the league's out-of-market package of games currently on DirecTV, and NFL Media, which houses the NFL Network, NFL Red Zone (its highlight service), and other media assets.

For the latter, the NFL is considering selling off a 49% stake in NFL Media, according to the story.

The NFL did not respond to inquiries from TV Watch by press time.

The value of the deal would be pretty big -- on the order of the tens of billions of dollars that linear and streaming TV networks agreed to in March 2021.



For example, DirecTV pays $1.5 billion a year for NFL Sunday Ticket. Some expect this to double, triple or quadruple in price -- maybe rising to an eye-popping $10 billion, according to one estimate.

An NFL deal for Apple would mean a key, highly viewed sports franchise boosting its not-so-fast growing Apple TV+ premium streaming service. In addition, NFL content would yield more value for all its mobile devices.

The bottom line is that non-sport content -- TV shows and movies -- is alway a tricky business for success.

That is why the likes of big premium streamers like Netflix need to spend $17 billion a year on content.

Converting those dollars into a selection of, say, two dozen highly viewed TV shows and movies takes a lot of creative spillage.

Many know that Apple, or the likes of Amazon, certainly has enough cash on hand to compete -- even to experiment. And although it could more easily match Netflix in the non-sports TV and movie content world, it is looking for a more consistent content bet.

Executives also know that live TV sports can command premium advertising dollars.

That is something Apple has not been that active in compared to, say, Amazon, another big media technology competitor.

Amazon already has an exclusive package of “Thursday Night Football” and is also in the hunt for these other NFL assets.

Still, even with the NFL, Apple TV+ would need to figure out a better way to make and stream more buzzy shows like the Emmy-winning “Ted Lasso.”

Right now, many would say Amazon has done a fairly good job itself with content (“Reacher,” “Endgame,” and “Euphoria,” to name a few) considering where Amazon Prime Video is now.

Overall, Amazon has also built other key digital and streaming TV and video businesses -- set-top-box and smart TV platform, Amazon Fire TV, as well as Amazon Channels.

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