Eddy Cue believes Apple can reinvent sports broadcasting with Apple TV+

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in General Discussion

Apple's move into live sports broadcasting is a strategic play to diversify its revenue and engage a broader audience, and it's been primarily driven by executive Eddy Cue.

Apple exec talks sports in new interview
Apple exec talks sports in new interview



Eddy Cue, a longtime Apple executive and sports enthusiast, spearheads the company's venture into live sports. Cue believes that sports offer a massive opportunity for Apple, especially as the company looks to diversify its revenue streams beyond hardware sales.

In a recent interview with with GQ, Cue shared some insight into Apple's foray into live sports, starting with Major League Soccer.

Apple aims to revolutionize how sports are broadcasted, starting with MLS. The company has already changed the broadcast schedule to make it more viewer-friendly.

However, Cue acknowledges that Apple has to navigate FIFA rules and other industry norms.

"Players need to be characters. They need to be celebs. That's part of sports, too," he said. "It's not just what happens at the time they're playing, and how they prepare, and the music. It's a minor thing, it's not that important. But it's an example of at the level of which things are managed that seem crazy."

The deal with MLS is seen as a starting point for Apple, which is rumored to be considering partnerships with other sports leagues and even a potential acquisition of ESPN. The company believes that its involvement will elevate MLS and serve as a blueprint for its future endeavors in live sports broadcasting.

One strategy to gain more supporters involves enhancing the team's performance on the field. Cue believed that for MLS to expand, it needed top-tier players.

"We looked at it from the viewpoint that MLS was going to grow, and in order to grow, it has to have the best players," he said. "There's no question that we looked a lot smarter the day that [Lionel] Messi decided to come to MLS."

Sports is an excellent way to attract and sustain subscribers to Apple TV+. According to Nielsen data, in 2022, 94 of the top 100 most-viewed television broadcasts in the United States were sports-related. The NFL dominated the list, making up 82 of those broadcasts and securing 19 spots in the top 20.

Cue believes that sports is a significant opportunity for Apple. "We spend a lot of money, a lot of time on finding the best unscripted drama in the world," he said.

"That's what we try to create in some of our shows that we do for TV+. Sports is that in spades. It's the greatest unscripted drama there is."

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FileMakerFeller

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    Well, I have to say I hadn't watched MLB often for years until Friday Night Baseball. I wish Apple had all the games. Apple's technology and interface is so much better than the standard MLB offerings.

    (of course the new rules changes in the game help too. made the games more exciting and shorter.)
    edited September 2023 CelticPaddy
  • Reply 2 of 9
    I hope they make it a separate tier for the benefit of those like me who are not into sports.
    dewme
  • Reply 3 of 9
    I watch baseball on MLB TV and Apples ads there are absolutely intolerable. I usually just suffer through the ads, but Apple's, I have to mute.  I've never watched a game on Apple+ and probably never will just because of their ads. As a long time Apple user and advocate, I find it rather depressing. 
    dewmegrandact73
  • Reply 4 of 9
    Gotta say as a lifelong baseball fan, they nailed it (mostly). A few of the booth team members were ho-hum, some were exceptional. The broadcast quality, the informative and undistracting “bugs”, the general vibe was great. 
  • Reply 5 of 9
    With the writers and actors going on strike, unscripted content like sports is coveted by all the streaming and broadcast services.

    Funnily enough, most of the people working in sports get paid a reasonable amount of money - the players get a huge amount, but a lot of the support staff get paid a decent enough wage. I wonder why that paradigm isn't applied to scripted content as well?

    Pay the people who make what you sell. Pay them enough that they don't worry about the money. See what improvements that makes.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,347member
    bala1234 said:
    I hope they make it a separate tier for the benefit of those like me who are not into sports.
    They already did. You pay extra if you want to watch MLS, and that’s definitely the template going forward. Friday Night Baseball is an appetizer for what Apple could do for the game if it had exclusive rights (and a season pass to go with it).
    FileMakerFellerbala1234
  • Reply 7 of 9
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,347member
    I watch baseball on MLB TV and Apples ads there are absolutely intolerable. I usually just suffer through the ads, but Apple's, I have to mute.  I've never watched a game on Apple+ and probably never will just because of their ads. As a long time Apple user and advocate, I find it rather depressing. 
    Have you actually watched Friday Night Baseball on Apple TV+? There’s no ads.*

    *by this I mean “no commercials.” Stadiums are complete whores for advertising so you can’t avoid seeing ads at a real-life event, but that’s not Apple’s fault.
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 8 of 9
    chasm said:
    bala1234 said:
    I hope they make it a separate tier for the benefit of those like me who are not into sports.
    They already did. You pay extra if you want to watch MLS, and that’s definitely the template going forward. Friday Night Baseball is an appetizer for what Apple could do for the game if it had exclusive rights (and a season pass to go with it).
    Apple is widely known for making great cellphones.  Does that mean that Apple should just be able to “take over” exclusive rights and “control” TV sports streaming of baseball and other sports?  Just how big is Apple allowed to become?  Do you see my point?  The point about a few individuals being in control of everything?
  • Reply 9 of 9
    Gah! Photoshopped Eddy Cue is super creepy IMO. Plus, c’mon Apple you made this of Eddy like a decade ago - update his portrait to his current trollish visage I imagine he’s become.
    FileMakerFeller
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