The first season of Apple’s 10-year, $2.5 billion media rights deal with Major League Soccer was a huge success. Now, the company seems to be looking for a bigger prize.
BusinessF1 Magazine reports that the digital giant wants Formula 1 media rights worldwide. Apple might be ready to pay $2 billion a year, which is twice as much as the circuit makes now.
A lot of different countries show F1. In the U.S., ESPN shows it, in the U.K., Sky Sports does, and in Australia and Mexico, Fox Sports does. There are deals that last at least five more years.
The story said that Apple could start buying rights and pay a fee based on how many rights it wanted until it had full exclusivity. It’s not clear when Apple could formally bid.
Views of the World
Apple’s sports philosophy of taking a property all the way or not at all would apply to the F1 transaction.
“We’re a global company,” Eddy Cue, senior vice president of services at Apple, said earlier this year. “Our clients come from every country in the world…” “Having something that you can have but can’t have isn’t exciting for me.”
Before the Pac-12 broke up this summer, Apple tried to get the exclusive broadcast rights for the conference. Company was also in the running for NFL Sunday Ticket, but talks with the NFL broke down, and the deal ended up going to Google’s YouTube.
It is unclear how much Apple would be willing to pay for the F1 rights, but it is likely to be a significant amount. The current deal between F1 and its current broadcasters is worth over $1 billion per year. Apple has deep pockets, and it is willing to spend big on content that it believes will attract new users and subscribers to its platform.
It is possible that Apple would make F1 a pay-per-view service, but it is not guaranteed. The company currently offers a subscription service for its TV+ streaming service, and it could offer a similar subscription service for F1. However, Apple could also choose to make F1 a free-to-air service in order to attract a wider audience.