Yesterday Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that they have struck a deal with MLB for an exclusive slate of game streams on Apple TV+.
The Friday night doubleheaders mark the latest sign that Apple is very serious about getting into live sports, on the heels of the tech giant’s reported interest in a large chunk of NFL properties. available.
The basics of the Apple deal, taken from our article yesterday:
As part of the deal, Apple will air a weekly doubleheader on Friday nights on Apple TV+, including pre-game and post-game coverage. Additionally, the deal contains a live broadcast called MLB Big Roundwhich looks like a typical whiparound show.
the Friday night baseball the games will be available not only in the United States, but also in Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
Please note: the games in the Apple package are exclusive, which means that they will not be broadcast locally on RSNs. It was long assumed that these games would not be exclusive, much like ESPN’s previous midweek package.
Today Mike Ozanian has a play in Forbes with the finances of the Apple deal and also the as-yet-unannounced deal with NBC for a slate of games for Peacock. The numbers are fascinating, especially given the current lockdown and workforce situation.
Major League Baseball’s new multi-year streaming deal with Apple is worth $85 million per year over seven years, according to multiple sources familiar with the deal who spoke with Forbes on condition of anonymity because the discussions were private. Under the terms of the new pact, Apple will pay $55 million in rights fees and $30 million in advertising. Apple obtains the exclusive rights to broadcast two “Friday Night Baseball” games each week (about 50 per season) in the United States and eight countries overseas, via its Apple TV Plus. Apple has the right to terminate the agreement after the first or second year.
Besides, Forbes learned that MLB has entered into a two-year streaming agreement with Comcast’s NBC Sports for Monday and Wednesday night games. ESPN has not resumed in its new deal with MLB, primarily to broadcast on Peacock. That deal starts this season and is worth $30 million a year.
That’s a pretty big addition to MLB’s annual revenue, though considering the billions the league brings in through domestic broadcast rights alone, an extra $100 million isn’t a massive percentage increase. But it underscores, again, that owning an MLB comes with widespread built-in advantages over other businesses.
From the league’s perspective, going into business with Apple probably isn’t a bad thing, especially since Apple seems very serious about its sports push. It’s the richest company in the world, and while there are real concerns about whether consumers will follow MLB to services like Apple TV+, the league clearly sees it as the right game in the long run. .
Of course, this is all conjecture until games start playing again, which at the moment doesn’t seem likely in the near future.