The streaming platform Apple TV+, from the company that created the iPhone and Mac, continues to grow thanks to the quality of its own fictions such as Ted Lasso or Severant. However, its market does not end with TV series and movies, as Netflix, HBO Max or Disney+ do, but they want to go a step further as a platform.
According to CNBC, Apple wants to acquire the NBA broadcasting rights for its VOD service. Thus, fans of the American basketball league could follow the games through Apple TV+, as well as programs related to the NBA itself.
The battle for the NBA rights: Apple vs. Amazon, Disney and NBC
This is not the first time Apple has inquired about the rights to a sports league. The company has already taken over the broadcasting of the U.S. soccer league, so it will broadcast all MLS games through Apple TV+. The contract, moreover, is for ten years, so it could be a long-term deal. On the other hand, it has also been interested in acquiring the rights to the Premier League, something that makes sense to directly relate to its Ted Lasso series.
But the bidding for the NBA is at another level. In fact, there are other companies interested in acquiring its rights, such as Amazon or NBC Sports, so it could turn into a million-dollar battle. At the moment, who seems to be in the lead in this fight is NBC, which has made a firm offer to broadcast the final phase of the playoffs in addition to some regular season games. But Apple could change all that.
NBC has had the NBA rights in the past, but Disney and Turner Sports took them over two decades ago. In April 2024, their firm contract runs out, and if they give up on continuing with the NBA, negotiations will open in which Apple would enter firmly.
One of Apple’s greatest assets is the great success it had in the international broadcast of the Super Bowl, with a halftime show prepared by the company itself under the sponsorship of Apple Music+. If they end up going down this road and their offer becomes a reality, the platform will have nothing to envy to Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video or the recently incorporated SkyShowtime.