Apple in negotiations to expand Apple TV+ with live sports, more movies

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited December 2019
According to a report on Thursday, Apple is considering making deals with Pac-12 and MGM to acquire content to bolster Apple TV+.




While there are presently no large studio catalogs or live sports on Apple TV+, if Thursday's report is accurate, Apple may be looking at acquiring some. According to the Wall Street Journal executives at Apple had meetings with MGM and Pac-12 officials.

It isn't yet clear how far along the meetings were, beyond "preliminary." The meetings were reportedly attended by Apple's head of mergers and acquisitions Adrian Perica, according to the Wall Street Journal report on Thursday. The meetings were said to have been held in February 2019, when MGM was looking for a distribution parter for its cable channel Epix.

MGM's Epix was founded in April 2008, in a joint effort between Paramount Pictures, MGM, Lionsgate, and Showtime. The network launched in October 2009, with a heavy promotional push by Verizon. It has since expanded to most of the cable networks

In 2016 and 2017, business complications and mergers threatened Epix. MGM bought out Paramount/Viacom's and Lionsgate's shares for just over $1 billion, giving it sole control of the network.

After months of promotion, Apple's first foray into video streaming, Apple TV+, launched on November 1. Apple TV+ is available in more than 100 countries and regions, with originals subtitled or dubbed in nearly 40 languages, including Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (SDH) or closed captions, Apple says. Audio descriptions for select series and movies will be available in eight languages.

Customers who have purchased an iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, or iPod touch after Sept. 10, 2019, are eligible for a year of free Apple TV+. Signing up is as simple as opening the TV app on the latest version of iOS, iPadOS, macOS or tvOS, and agreeing to Apple's terms and conditions. The app might request a valid Apple ID for redemption and initiation.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    Buy an NFL & NBA team instead.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 1,031member
    When I can pay per view for games currently on CBS, Fox or ESPN without supporting the endless gossip programming that passes for “sports” I will be interested. I watch a handful of College FB and BB games and little else, sports wise.
  • Reply 3 of 24
    What I don’t get is all the launch shows are pretty much finishing up now with their first seasons. See already finished as it had less episodes. Almost nothing else started in between so it seems unless Apple has some surprise launches, they won’t have hardly any new content going up weekly soon.

    I mean I’ve got it free with a new iPhone so it’s not costing me anything. It’s not expensive really once you have to pay but they really will need to get more content fast for it to be worth even the price they want at the moment.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 24
    TheOneUK said:
    What I don’t get is all the launch shows are pretty much finishing up now with their first seasons. See already finished as it had less episodes. Almost nothing else started in between so it seems unless Apple has some surprise launches, they won’t have hardly any new content going up weekly soon.

    I mean I’ve got it free with a new iPhone so it’s not costing me anything. It’s not expensive really once you have to pay but they really will need to get more content fast for it to be worth even the price they want at the moment.
    Yes, the launch shows are finishing up. But since then 'Truth be Told', 'Hala' and 'Servant' rolled out. Just yesterday AppleInsider had this: Apple TV+ comedy series 'Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet' debuts on Feb. 7. I think Apple said there will be new content added monthly.

    Edit: Apple's website confirms "New Apple Originals Every Month": https://www.apple.com/apple-tv-plus/
    edited December 2019 fastasleeprandominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 24
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,134member
    Yeah but truth be told and Hala just arent that compelling. I get that TV+ is trying to be upmarket because of the paucity of content, and well, Apple. However being a small and limited streaming version of PBS isn’t going to encourage people to start paying for a subscription. There is a void.

     I burnt through See and For All Mankind. Really enjoyed them and as expected, they were much, much better than the professional TV critics were prepared to grudgingly admit. But I haven’t been compelled to go backAfter those, and Netflix and Prime are rolling out good stuff like The Expanse in time for Christmas.
    edited December 2019 rogifan_newwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,095member
    davgreg said:
    When I can pay per view for games currently on CBS, Fox or ESPN without supporting the endless gossip programming that passes for “sports” I will be interested. I watch a handful of College FB and BB games and little else, sports wise.
    I kinda like watching the NFL game highlight streams on YouTube, almost always available within a day of the live broadcast. Generally 10-13 minutes long and hits all the pertinent plays during the games. No commercials and no game breaks. :)
  • Reply 7 of 24
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 3,045member
    davgreg said:
    When I can pay per view for games currently on CBS, Fox or ESPN without supporting the endless gossip programming that passes for “sports” I will be interested. I watch a handful of College FB and BB games and little else, sports wise.
    It is good news when it appears options will be offered. I would be specifically interested in pay per view live sports. $1.99 for a out of market game not on network or otherwise available Sure. I'm not into the subscriptions offered by the NHL (and other leagues) but a PPV would be welcome. 
    davgreg
  • Reply 8 of 24
    Buy an NFL & NBA team instead.

    Sorry. Bad investments.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 24
    Buy an NFL & NBA team instead.
    Boring NFL ? Watching a bunch of hamsters running through a maze is more exciting.

    I think Apple should stay away from live sports.
    watto_cobrabakedbananas
  • Reply 10 of 24
    davgreg said:
    When I can pay per view for games currently on CBS, Fox or ESPN without supporting the endless gossip programming that passes for “sports” I will be interested. I watch a handful of College FB and BB games and little else, sports wise.
    The choice is pay per view, subscription or put up with ad based TV. They have to pay for their content and make a profit their owners/shareholders expect. If the business model doesn't work for you or isn't profitable for them, the choices for each of you are pretty simple.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 24
    loekf said:
    Buy an NFL & NBA team instead.
    Boring NFL ? Watching a bunch of hamsters running through a maze is more exciting.

    I think Apple should stay away from live sports.
    It is your right to regard live sports and the NFL as you wish, but your dismissive view of the NFL as a very profitable media product that brings millions and millions of customers and huge amounts of economic activity seems short sighted and ignorant.

    And the "hamsters running through a maze" comment is little more than dismissive babble. The comment isn't witty, creative or the slightest bit original. To call something you don't understand or don't like as you did instead of just saying you don't care for it makes a person look pretty stupid in view of the easy obtainable and verifiable facts. I'm sure you are deeply in like with plenty that a lot of people would view even more unkindly than you do football and probably wouldn't look nicely upon what you would see as their ignorance if they expressed it with dismissive language.

    In 2018 the average number of viewers for a single NFL game was 15.8 million. 16 games per week. That is 252.8 million viewers in a week. That is 4.3 Billion viewers over a 17 week season not including three rounds of national and international broadcasted playoffs and Super Bowl. The NFL dominates television among ALL sources of content. 46 of the top 50 telecasts during the regular season were NFL games. There is no more successful product other than perhaps Soccer - another live sport.

    BTW, contrary to what you may think, I'm not much of a football fan, but I am a business man and Apple thinking about this (live sports) move is about business and their customers.

    Most people on tech blogs (myself included sometimes) are out of touch with the general populace when it comes to tech. They are the least flexible or tolerant when it comes what does fit into their normally narrow view.
    edited December 2019 gatorguy
  • Reply 12 of 24
    FatmanFatman Posts: 513member
    I tried nearly all the live TV streaming platforms, Since I want sports + the major networks + some key ‘cable TV’ networks. I was an early cord cutter and adopter, starting with PlayStationVue ($35/mo & very good) and then moved to DirectTVNow/ATT Now for the AppleTV device promotion ($35, rough start & overall mediocre). After their price increase, I briefly went to Hulu Live (very good) and then moved to YoutubeTV (very good), after Hulu’s $5/month price increases. If Apple can swoop in and give me what these services tried to, at a better price that doesn’t increase ($39/mo would be fair), I would move again - especially if they can deliver a great interface, simplify the content selection process across ‘channels’ and give me more 4K programming! For me, if the streaming service prices increase past $55/month, I will regrettably go back to a cable TV package! Full circle.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    Apple TV - only one thing missing - good content.
    razorpit
  • Reply 14 of 24
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    Apple TV - only one thing missing - good content.
    I finally tried to watch a show Wednesday night. 'See' is an excellent cure for insomnia. I had trouble staying awake picking up halfway through where I left off the night before. Right where the queen starts to, well you know. I'll try one more but so far Manadlorian is kicking ass. Apple trying to be edgy is actually cringy.
  • Reply 15 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,095member
    Fatman said:
    I tried nearly all the live TV streaming platforms, Since I want sports + the major networks + some key ‘cable TV’ networks. I was an early cord cutter and adopter, starting with PlayStationVue ($35/mo & very good) and then moved to DirectTVNow/ATT Now for the AppleTV device promotion ($35, rough start & overall mediocre). After their price increase, I briefly went to Hulu Live (very good) and then moved to YoutubeTV (very good), after Hulu’s $5/month price increases. If Apple can swoop in and give me what these services tried to, at a better price that doesn’t increase ($39/mo would be fair), I would move again - especially if they can deliver a great interface, simplify the content selection process across ‘channels’ and give me more 4K programming! For me, if the streaming service prices increase past $55/month, I will regrettably go back to a cable TV package! Full circle.
    YouTube TV has been a very pleasant surprise. Started with Sling and tried YouTube TV only because it was "free" for a very limited time. Turned out that it was really pretty good, the cloud DVR is wonderful, and the service itself has gotten better over time with more channels and features added (PBS just this week for instance). I particularly like the addition of the ACC network as I have a couple of college teams I follow, and local Fox Sports is almost a necessity in the household. 

    So Apple getting into sports broadcasting too is pretty much a no-brainer IMHO. Those that don't follow sports don't have to watch it, but having it certainly won't be a detriment to Apple TV+ subscription numbers so of course they're considering it. 

    BTW I think I remember reading just a few days ago that YouTube TV is now the biggest streaming TV provider, but I'd have to double-check that. 

    edit: Yes I did read it, but after reading it again not sure I trust the reporting.
    https://www.barrons.com/articles/google-youtubetv-might-be-your-next-cable-provider-51563891177
    edited December 2019
  • Reply 16 of 24
    payecopayeco Posts: 580member
    Ugh, please no. Sports are the main driver behind making cable so expensive. We don’t need the same thing happening here. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 24
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 1,031member
    tommikele said:
    davgreg said:
    When I can pay per view for games currently on CBS, Fox or ESPN without supporting the endless gossip programming that passes for “sports” I will be interested. I watch a handful of College FB and BB games and little else, sports wise.
    The choice is pay per view, subscription or put up with ad based TV. They have to pay for their content and make a profit their owners/shareholders expect. If the business model doesn't work for you or isn't profitable for them, the choices for each of you are pretty simple.
    Pay per view is fine when offered on Apple TV apart from a subscription. Not seeing that yet.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,095member
    Kinda sorta related since it's another Apple media service:

    You can get 6 months of Apple Music at no charge, 100% free, via the now Apple-owned Shazam app. There's even a workaround for existing Apple Music subscribers.
    https://www.macworld.co.uk/news/apple/music-free-3778978/

    US, UK and Canada only.
    edited December 2019
  • Reply 19 of 24
    razorpit said:
    Apple TV - only one thing missing - good content.
    I finally tried to watch a show Wednesday night. 'See' is an excellent cure for insomnia. I had trouble staying awake picking up halfway through where I left off the night before. Right where the queen starts to, well you know. I'll try one more but so far Manadlorian is kicking ass. Apple trying to be edgy is actually cringy.
    See is a bit of a snooze, but For All Mankind is excellent.  The Morning Show is inconsistent, but I look forward to the new episodes.  Mandalorian is a live-action cartoon with cool effects and awful script writing and plot.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,095member
    razorpit said:
    Apple TV - only one thing missing - good content.
    I finally tried to watch a show Wednesday night. 'See' is an excellent cure for insomnia. I had trouble staying awake picking up halfway through where I left off the night before. Right where the queen starts to, well you know. I'll try one more but so far Manadlorian is kicking ass. Apple trying to be edgy is actually cringy.
     Mandalorian is a live-action cartoon with cool effects and awful script writing and plot.  
    Live action cartoon?? You've apparently not watched it as there are no cartoons involved. Did you perhaps confuse it with Out of the Spider-verse or something?
    edited December 2019
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