After seeing unprecedented success in the first season of its 10-year, $2.5 billion media rights deal with MLS, Apple appears to be setting its sights on a more considerable asset.
The tech giant is reportedly showing strong interest in acquiring the worldwide media rights to Formula 1 races, according to BusinessF1 Magazine. Apple may be willing to pay $2 billion annually, which would double what the circuit brings in.
F1 has a long list of broadcast partners that vary by country — from ESPN in the U.S. to Sky Sports in the U.K. to Fox Sports in Australia and Mexico. Some contracts run for at least five more years.
Per the report, Apple could start acquiring rights and pay a pro-rated fee until it attained 100% exclusivity. It is unclear when Apple could make an official bid.
Should the F1 deal come to fruition, it would align with Apple’s stated sports strategy of going all-out for a property or staying away altogether.
“We’re a global company,” Apple senior vice president of services Eddy Cue said earlier this year. “We have customers in every country in the world … and it’s not exciting for me to have something that you can have but you can’t have.”
Apple tried to acquire the Pac-12’s exclusive media rights this summer before the conference broke apart. Apple was also a finalist in the bidding for NFL Sunday Ticket before negotiations with the NFL fell apart, and the package ended up with Google’s YouTube.