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Apple potential bid for MLB package could bring big player into sports


Los Angeles Dodgers’ center fielder Cody Bellinger (35), steals second base from the St. Louis Cardinals’ second baseman Tommy Edman (19), in the 2021 National League Wild Card match.

Robert Hanashiro | USA TODAY Sports

This is it! AmazonLive sports has been a major part of the company’s success, including a $1B deal for “Thursday Night Football” AppleIs trying to get into the game.

According to sources with information, Apple has been in discussions with Major League Baseball about acquiring the rights to the weekday program. The people who know the matter declined to speak publicly because the negotiations are confidential. This agreement will bring together the largest U.S. tech firm with a sports media package, and provide Apple with major content for Apple TV+.

The MLB Weekday Package allows streaming services or networks to show baseball games Monday and Wednesday during regular season. MLB and Apple have declined to comment about a possible deal. This was initially reported Monday by The Associated Press. New York Post.

They don’t have to be exclusive. The games can still air on RSNs for teams playing. Apple still considers it an entry point. Lee Berke CEO of Apple. LHB SportsThe advisory firm for the sport entertainment industry is.

Apple uses its nearly $3 trillion market capital and $191 billion cash and equivalents for expansion well beyond iPhones and computers. Company introducedApple TV+ will be available in 2019 for $5/month. It would work across all major streaming platforms, and it could compete with other services like Netflix. NetflixAmazon and Amazon are great sources of original content.

Berke explained that adding sports to a media strategy is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to build a content strategy.

As MLB faces its ninth labor dispute in history, it is crucial to find new revenue streams in the offseason. MLB-owners locked out players inThe parties quarrell over the fair distribution of sport’s economic benefits in December

The league’s media rights are a growing source of revenue, however MLB must be creative to maximize its revenues.

The MLB was renewing its contract with ESPN in January 2021. This deal paid $5.6 billion to the league over eight years. It also included midweek and Sunday rights. Because they could also be shown on RSNs, the games were considered semi-exclusive.

For the Monday-Wednesday packages on ESPN2, Octagon used average viewership from 108 to 114 MLB games. The 2018 average viewership was 761,434 with a drop to about 632,000 in 2019, and to 358,947 for 2020.

They agreed to split the weekday game schedule in May. ESPN reported that this reduced their annual fees from $700m to $a reportedAnnually $550 millions This new deal is available for 550 million annually through 2028,ESPN remains the sole rights holder of “Sunday Night Baseball”, the Home Run Derby, as well as MLB playoff wildcard games.

Although the difference between ESPN’s original deal and ESPN’s new one is only $150 million per year, experts in the industry suggested that MLB wanted $350m annually for weekday rights.

Daniel Cohen is the Octagon senior vice-president of its global media rights consulting unit. He said that it was unlikely for a traditional media company to pay MLB’s asking cost. Turner Sports will also add a weekday league on. Tuesday nightsIt is part of its brand new $3.2 billion packageThis pays MLB $470 Million per Year, an increase of $325 M

Berke however stated that a cash-rich company such as Apple would pay for it.

Berke explained that Apple can buy many sports beyond the MLB package. But they must prove that they are capable. 

Apple, the brand new radio

Berke described Apple’s current situation as a similar one that another company had to face a century ago.

In the 1920’s electronics company RCA developed radio sets. The company bought radio stations. in 1926he founded the National Broadcasting Co. NBC and MLB agreed to broadcast the first World Series live on radio. (NBCUniversal, now CNBC’s parent company, is now NBCUniversal.

Berke explained that RCA had tried to sell radio sets while Apple is selling headsets. It is the same principle.

He stated that Apple offers a complete ecosystem of products and services to its customers.

Berke stated that Apple needs to be involved in the games. “If Apple is looking to increase usage of Apple TV+ but also looking to sell additional hardware – phones, watches, iPads – then sports provides you with a ready-made mass audience.”

Because of this, the media landscape changed and a deal between MLB (and Apple) was attractive for both sides.

MLB is attracting younger workers, who tend to be more attached to their phones for content than they are at home. It’s all thanks to RSN’s in financial dangerAs consumers reduce their cable TV subscriptions, the league must offer alternatives to traditional linear television.

Berke explained, “You’re getting your next generation in front of you. Which is absolutely crucial for any effort you’re going forward.” The games must be available on the screens so that new fans can see them.

View of fans looking out from the outfield while the Houston Astros play the Atlanta Braves in the 2021 World Series. This was taken during game 6 at Minute Maid Park.

USA Today Sports| USA TODAY Sports

The simulcasting of “Thursday Night” and the development of its technology to manage large volumes of livestreaming have been done for years. AmazonGet lured! $1 billion per yearNFL Package in March 2021. The company now aims to hire an NFL lead analyst Troy Aikman to joinFox has its production personnel.

2019 will also see Amazon purchased sharesof the YES Network which broadcasts New York Yankees game and streams the regular season games. It is partnered with Women’s National Basketball Association. around its in-season tournament,An idea that the NBA would like to embrace. tennis streaming rights.

Berke stated that they have built an impressive portfolio of sports not only in the U.S., but all over the world. “Step-by-step, they’ve done it step by step.” This is a lengthy process that takes years to prove that one has the ability to produce, sell, and distribute on a professional, glitch-free level.

Apple and MLB share a history that dates back to 2008, when MLB launched its iPhone app. Apple asked MLB two years later to assist with the launch the iPad.

More opportunities may open up if Apple can land MLB rights for itself and compete with Amazon to attract users who are interested in live sports.

Berke said, “If your interest is in making an offer for the NBA,”

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