Apple TV to kick-off Premier League football coverage?
Apple is to take on the likes of Sky and ESPN in bidding for the rights to broadcast Premier League football when the tender is offered up before the end of the season.
The Daily Mail is reporting that the Cupertino tech giant is interested in scoring the action to boost its Apple TV and iPad live offerings and, with an Apple TV set hotly tipped to arrive in the next year or so, it makes sense for Apple to be looking to expand its television portfolio.
The Mail's report also suggests that Google could be interested in getting involved. "The involvement of Apple - and their great multimedia rivals Google are also expected to make similar soundings - would give the PL a hugely competitive market at a time when the price of other TV sports rights are in decline," it said.
With Google TV not exactly the huge success story that the search giant hoped it would be, and a UK launch touted for the near future, Premier League footie could be just what the physio ordered.
Sky paid a whopping £1.6 billion for its Premier League rights back in 2009, which included five out of the six packages up until the 2012/13 season, with ESPN picking up the scraps for around £90 million. If the report proves true, we'd expect Apple to attempt a similar approach to ESPN in offering between 40 and 50 live games per season.
In the States, Apple currently has deals with the NHL, NBA, and MLB for sporty fanboys to watch games live and in HD, with season ticket options on offer as well. Adding the UK's favourite sport to the mix would certainly make the hobby box and, more importantly, an Apple TV set a much more attractive prospect.