Report: Apple Eyeing Bid for English Premier League Streaming Rights in United Kingdom
Apparently, simply producing a beloved series about a fictitious English Premier League soccer team isn’t quite enough for Apple. A new report from Bloomberg indicates that Apple is considering jumping into the bidding for streaming rights to EPL games in the United Kingdom beginning in 2025.
Currently, the English rights to Premier League games reside with Sky Sports, BT Sport, Prime Video, and BBC Sport until the conclusion of the 2024-25 season. In the United States, English Premier League streaming rights are held by NBCUniversal’s streamer Peacock until the conclusion of the 2027-28 campaign. Apple’s potential interest in EPL rights was first reported in January.
There’s no confirmation on an asking price from the league, but the last time it renewed its U.K. broadcast and streaming rights the package totaled $6.3 billion. Premier League representatives will surely want a raise over that amount, which means Apple’s portion of the rights package could cost it near the $2.5 billion it paid to secure the streaming rights to every Major League Soccer game of the next 10 years.
The biggest difference between those two deals will be that Apple will have to share considerably more English Premier League games with British broadcasters if it lands U.K. streaming rights. Apple’s new streaming platform MLS Season Pass will host around 97% of this year’s MLS games exclusively, with the rest being broadcast on FOX or FS1. Sky Sports, BT Sport, and BBC Sport will almost certainly get more games than that to split between them when the next Premier League contract is signed.
Winning the bid for Premier League rights in the U.K. would definitely count as moving in on Amazon’s territory by Apple. Prime Video’s live sports offerings overseas are as impressive as they are in the U.S. In addition to currently holding some Premier League rights, Prime Video is showing this year’s U.S. Open tennis tournament in Ireland and the U.K., as well as the UEFA Champions League tournament in the U.K., Italy, and Germany.
But Apple is no slouch when it comes to offering live sports. The company recently announced the first half of its schedule of “Friday Night Baseball” MLB doubleheaders, which will now require an Apple TV+ subscription to watch. Apple also has the aforementioned MLS deal and has reportedly looked into bidding on the broadcast rights to the NCAA Pac-12 conference. The company has even been linked to the NBA, though those rights will be incredibly pricey if they hit the open market after the 2024-25 season.
As one of the most-watched sporting organizations in the world, securing English Premier League rights in the U.K. would definitely build on Apple’s reputation for offering quality instead of just quantity. Whether it wins those rights or not remains to be seen, but there’s no doubting Apple’s commitment to adding more live sports to its digital platforms.
Apple TV+ is a subscription video streaming service for $6.99 a month that includes high-quality original shows and movies including Best Picture winner “CODA,” popular sitcom “Ted Lasso,” and dramas like “The Morning Show” and “Severance.” Apple TV+ is also home to MLB baseball games on Friday nights and MLS Season Pass.
If you purchase an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV, you can get a free year of Apple TV+.