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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Apple In Talks for Live MLB Broadcasts

  • Apple is in serious talks with MLB on a live broadcast package.
  • MLB is offering national weekday games recently dropped by ESPN.
Apple-MLB
D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

Apple could be close to making its first move into live sports.

The largest public company in the world by market cap has had substantial talks with Major League Baseball, according to the New York Post.

MLB is taking offers on national weekday games, which were previously held by ESPN. The Disney-owned company had rights to Monday and Wednesday U.S. broadcasts, which it shared with regional markets.

It is not currently clear if future broadcast contracts would have a similar arrangement.

  • Despite dropping its weekday regular-season coverage, ESPN re-upped with MLB in May 2021 on a seven-year deal beginning 2022, worth $550 million annually. The pact includes 30 regular season games and exclusive wild card playoff coverage.
  • In 2020, Turner Sports agreed to a $470 million per-year deal on the same timeframe to show one regular-season game per week, plus the division series and one league championship series.

Apple Biting Into Sports

Whether or not Apple secures a deal with MLB, it’s showing a growing interest in sports content and technology.

The company has developed code in its iOS and tvOS operating systems titled “SportsKit” that would provide real-time updates on particular teams, perhaps among other features.

Apple has reportedly shown interest in the “NFL Sunday Ticket” package, which could fetch $2.5 billion annually. The company held talks with the Pac-12 conference about live broadcasts in December 2019.

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