Eddy Cue says MLS deal was about Apple sticking to things it could do well

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple SVP of Services Eddy Cue made a rare interview appearance, discussing the merits of saying no and how MLS was one of the company's rare yeses.

Apple SVP of Services Eddy Cue. Image source: CNBC
Apple SVP of Services Eddy Cue. Image source: CNBC


Apple TV+ and Major League Soccer streaming are both products that would never have been considered part of Apple's roadmap even a decade ago. The company has grown a lot since Steve Jobs' passing, but the philosophy of saying "no" still lives on.

In a rare interview with CNBC, SVP of Services Eddy Cue shared why an MLS deal was right for Apple. He said it starts with the ability to say no, before saying yes.

"We say 'no' to almost everything," Cue said in the interview. "When you get as large as we are, it's easy to think you can do anything or everything, and it's just not true."

Cue described two factors that determine what a "yes" should be. First, it should be something Apple is good at, and second, it should be something consumers value and care about.

He brought up the famous Wayne Gretzky quote, the one about chasing where the puck is going, not where it is. Apple sees sports streaming as where the puck will be.

Steve Jobs once said, "Saying no is critical to good design and engineering." And Apple's ability to say no seems to continue even in his absence.

Apple signed a 10-year deal with MLS and is under contract to stream Friday Night Baseball for MLB as well. The company is looking for more sports to add to its services and continues to add features like multiview streaming.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 1,035member
    I guess content that doesn't appeal to many people is turning into one of Apple's core competencies?

    I'm not saying that Apple shouldn't do MLS, but c'mon now Eddy.  "First, it should be something Apple is good at, and second, it should be something consumers value and care about."  Let's not pretend this was some big decision. 

    TBH, after Ted Lasso I'd be interested in watching more non-US soccer/football and MLS doesn't interest much at all.

    edited May 2023 byronl
  • Reply 2 of 7
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,983member
    The possibility of Apple, getting more exposure in the massive growing Hispanic community in the USA and south of the border, who happen to be far the largest audience of MLS league, probably can’t hurt, future sales of Apple devices. Also note a large number of players currently, close to a third of the league? originate from those areas, which also can’t hurt.

    It is the only professional sport sponsorship by Apple, that actually might make sense in that context of reaching out to a growing market, that up to now has been under served by Apple devices.

    Note: Eddy Cue’s is of (Cuban and Spanish) descent, so maybe that may also be a part of trying to reach out towards, the south of the border, which for Apple, isn’t as big as they would like it to be sales-wise.

    Not a fan of Apple being in content, but that could be part of Apple’s thinking long term.
    edited May 2023 byronllolliverwilliamh
  • Reply 3 of 7
    byronlbyronl Posts: 366member
    Really don’t see the benefit of Apple being in the content business. Their offering is so small and just serves to justify their Apple One subscription prices. I really wish their subscription bundles could be more flexible as I would love to keep the level I have, just without TV+. 
    in 2019 it was really small but it has been growing quite nicely. 
    lolliver
  • Reply 4 of 7
    michelb76michelb76 Posts: 638member
    Really don’t see the benefit of Apple being in the content business. Their offering is so small and just serves to justify their Apple One subscription prices. I really wish their subscription bundles could be more flexible as I would love to keep the level I have, just without TV+. 
    They're just starting out, and doing fine with it. Slowly growing and learning without overextending.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,196member
    Well sure, I will renew my subscription in a few years’ time.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 1,035member
    danox said:
    The possibility of Apple, getting more exposure in the massive growing Hispanic community in the USA and south of the border, who happen to be far the largest audience of MLS league, probably can’t hurt, future sales of Apple devices. Also note a large number of players currently, close to a third of the league? originate from those areas, which also can’t hurt.

    It is the only professional sport sponsorship by Apple, that actually might make sense in that context of reaching out to a growing market, that up to now has been under served by Apple devices.

    Note: Eddy Cue’s is of (Cuban and Spanish) descent, so maybe that may also be a part of trying to reach out towards, the south of the border, which for Apple, isn’t as big as they would like it to be sales-wise.

    Not a fan of Apple being in content, but that could be part of Apple’s thinking long term.
    I was critical of Apple offering MLS or at least the pomposity of Eddie Cue's statement but I like your reasoning.
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