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Apple Considering Bid for U.K. Premier League Rights

The Take

  • A report out this morning says that Apple TV+ may bid for the U.K. streaming rights to English Premier League football.
  • The deal would bring the English Football League to the same platform that already hosts Major League Soccer in the U.S.
  • Apple TV+ is well-known for its films and TV shows, including Ted Lasso, which follows a fictional Premier League coach from the U.S.
  • NBC Sports holds Premier League streaming rights in the U.S. through 2028 as part of a $2.7 billion deal.

Apple is in early negotiations with the English Premier League to acquire streaming rights for football on Apple TV+. A report out this morning from Bloomberg notes that if Apple made a bid for football rights, it would be up against Comcast and Warner Bros. Discovery in the U.K., along with Amazon, which has pushed into European football streaming.

The move would place the streaming platform in direct competition with Amazon Prime, which already hosts Thursday Night Football games (U.S. football, of course). Adding the Premier League to its portfolio would make Apple TV+ the home of top-flight English soccer games and U.S. Major League Soccer.

Streaming rights for the English Football League (EFL) will be available in 2024 in the U.K. Meanwhile, Peacock holds exclusive U.S. broadcast and streaming rights through 2028 as part of a $2.7 billion deal.

In a fun bit of trivia, one of Apple TV+’s biggest shows is Ted Lasso, and the character of Ted Lasso was created in 2013 for NBC Sports to promote their Premier League coverage when they bought the U.S. rights.

Sports streaming rights in the U.S.

All major U.S. streaming platforms, except for Hulu and Disney+, currently host some form of exclusive sports content. Major league sports are divided among streaming services, cable networks, and other providers. Frankly, it’s hard to track where to watch your favorite teams sometimes, so we put together a guide to help.

As streaming TV has become more popular, we’ve seen the NFL take advantage of shifting programming to major conglomerates. Amazon Prime holds the rights to Thursday Night Football as of 2022, and YouTube TV carries NFL Sunday Ticket as of 2023. CBS and Paramount+ still have in-market NFL games, while NBC and Peacock carry Sunday Night Football.

The MLB, NBA, and NHL still air on cable channels, so you’ll want to check your regional sports network for more information. (We recommend DIRECTV STREAM for all three.) However, Friday Night Baseball airs on Apple TV+ now, and Peacock carries MLB Sunday Leadoff games. And if you’re interested in NHL national matchups, you’ll need ESPN+ and Hulu.

Finally, soccer is divided among Apple TV+, Paramount+, Peacock, and HBO Max, with select games on other channels. ESPN+ and FS1, for instance, stream the Football Association (FA) Cup and the World Cup, respectively. MLS Season Pass is on Apple TV+, with some select games still airing on FOX and FS1. If you’re interested in the European Champions League, Paramount+ is the place to go. Peacock streams all Premier League games in the U.S. The U.S. women’s and men’s national team games air on HBO Max.

Still trying to decide what to watch this spring? We’ve got you covered with five sports leagues you can’t miss, including the UEFA Champions League and National Women’s Soccer League.

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