Now what would Apple want with Premier League TV rights?

4 Jan 2012

Apple is reportedly considering bidding for the next set of live Premier League TV rights when the tender goes out before the end of the season. The move would give the tech giant considerable clout in the battle for the living room TV.

Apple is expected to launch new media services later this month at an event in New York and while the Premier League deal might not be in place by that stage the idea of Apple winning such a bid is a possible indicator of its intentions.

According to the Daily Mail, both Apple and Google are eyeing the upcoming rights battle.

Apple is expected to launch a fully-fledged TV later this year. The company’s existing Apple TV product allows users to stream content from the internet directly onto their TVs. And let’s not forget the millions of people carrying iPad and iPhone devices.

The TV market is already a heavily commoditised business and launching a new piece of TV hardware without an aligned content strategy would be folly.

Five years ago, the very notion of a Google, which owns YouTube, or Apple making such a bid would have been unthinkable. But today they are, in effect, the media with distribution networks over the internet and numbers of users that rival traditional TV networks.

Unique rights to premium content would be a key weapon in the battle for hearts, eyeballs, pounds and dollars that is looming.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years