In a piece in Sports Illustrated, Apple SVP of Internet Software & Services Eddy Cue indicated that they don’t expect to compete with Facebook and Amazon for rights to live sports.
He went on to say, “That’s not to say we would never do sports, because who the heck knows. Never is a long time, but I don’t think that’s a problem right now.” Part of the problem is the limited reach of the available rights deals. Cue said, “You really can’t own all the rights, so therefore at some point you need to solve some other problems. You can’t design for owning the rights because if that’s the only thing you’re doing you’re always going to be tiny.”
So if Apple’s upcoming streaming service won’t have live sports, how do they think they can bring sports to Apple users. Cue said he wants to be the “middleman.” To Apple that means helping sell sports subscription services and reminding users to tune into the biggest moments in games.
Apple has built a team that highlights key events happening across sports. When you connect your streaming or cable package to the TV App, this enables alerts of major events like close games or a multi-overtime game. Some already integrated are ESPN+, DAZN, fuboTV, March Madness Live, MLB.TV, NBA League Pass, NBC Sports App, and PlayStation Vue. So while Apple might not own the rights to any live sports, they want to be your buddy who texts you when a big moment happens, and to make it easy to tune to the game.