Apple is interested in bidding for the rights to broadcast live Premier League (PL) football matches, the Daily Mail has reported.
If Apple wins the billion pound televised rights, it would strengthen the computer giant’s Apple TV portfolio in the UK market as the iTunes subscription service infrastructure is already in place.
Sky paid £1.6bn for their current package of matches, and ESPN and Al Jazeera are said to be considering bids when the next tender goes out before the end of the 2011 season.
The report suggests that Google may also be interested to make a bid. “The involvement of Apple – and their great multimedia rivals Google are also expected to make similar soundings – would give the PL a hugely competitive market at a time when the price of other TV sports rights are in decline.”
The last round of UK TV rights, for 2010 to 2013, sold for £1.7bn. It sounds steep, but Apple certainly won’t struggle to raise the capital given that recent figures show they have almost $10bn (£6.4bn) in cash and around another $70bn (£45bn) in cash alternatives and marketable securities.