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Published on March 19th, 2019 | by Brad Gibson

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Is Apple interested in live sports for its streaming service? Exec says no

In a print feature on Apple’s efforts to improve live sports in its TV app content, services chief Eddy Cue tells Sports Illustrated the tech giant has little interest in sporting events as part of its future TV streaming service.

Asked how much he thinks about competing against such services as ESPN+, Amazon, and Facebook that have all bought live streaming sports rights, Cue said “not a lot, honestly.”

That’s not to say we would never do sports, because who the heck knows,” he commented. “Never is a long time, but I don’t think that’s a problem right now. Sports rights are deeply fragmented, with different owners split by platform and region. “You really can’t own all the rights, so therefore at some point you need to solve some other problems. You can’t design for owning the rights because if that’s the only thing you’re doing you’re always going to be tiny.”

The feature article by Jacob Feldman also gives a unique look inside Apple’s so-called ‘sports surveillance room’ where is a team of Apple employees has been monitoring sports events for almost a year and letting fans know what’s worth watching and offering one-click access to action through the Apple TV app.

While such things like sports scores could be automated, the Apple team look for newsworthy and unpredictable moments, sending notifications when the action gets exciting or deciding something is worth missing.

Apple is expected to announce next Monday at a special event a new streaming video service of exclusive entertainment content, a premium TV app subscription including a number of third-party services, and a $10 a month subscription news and magazine service.

Apple is working on a streaming TV service that will include the more than two dozen TV shows and movies that it has in the works, but sports is not expected to be part of the mix.

In addition to featuring some of its own original shows, Apple is expected to resell other subscription services like Showtime and Starz, similar to the premium TV app subscription model started by Amazon and mirrored by Roku.

Consumers would sign-up with various services – or ‘channels’ – then view and stream them through Apple TV.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of BESTAppleTV.com. He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as MacNN.com, MacObserver.com, MacCentral.com, MacMinute.com, and Macworld.com. He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the Associated Press and United Press International.



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