Apple has “expressed interest” in acquiring an NBA streaming package, according to a new report from CNBC. Apple is among other interested parties that include Amazon and NBC Sports, with NBCUniversal particularly interested in reacquiring NBA games.
NBCUniversal is aiming for a deal that would allow it to air playoff games on the NBC network, with some regular season games exclusive to Peacock streaming service. The report does not have specifics on what other potential buyers like Apple might be interested in.
NBC used to have rights to the NBA until Disney and Turner Sports purchased them more than 20 years ago, and negotiations cannot restart unless Turner Sports and Disney agree to waive an exclusive negotiation window that expires in April 2024. The NBA could ultimately opt to extend its contract with Disney and Turner Sports rather than taking bids from outside companies, but there is a chance at this point that Apple will be able to make a bid.
CNBC suggests that the NBA could create two packages for bidders, with content for three or four partners split between streaming and traditional TV.
Apple has been pursuing sports content in an effort to attract new viewers to the Apple TV+ streaming service. The company has signed deals with Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer. MLS games will be available in February, with the MLS Season Pass priced at $14.99 per month or $99 per season, while MLB content premiered last spring with Friday Night Baseball.
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