Apple has emerged as a potential partner for Disney as it looks to sort out what to do with ESPN. While Disney could certainly use the reach of Apple, one tech expert says it is a no-brainer for Apple, too. The mega-company started its foray into the sports world, and ESPN would unlock more opportunities for Apple.
Daniel Ives, an analyst at investment firm Wedbush Securities, says sports content is at the forefront of what Apple wants to produce. ESPN may be there for the taking as Disney’s executives review their assets to see what is financially viable.
“The massive appetite for live sports content remains the laser focus for Cupertino now to boost its streaming future and further tap into its massive installed base of 2 billion iOS devices worldwide,” Ives said. “We believe the answer and the shoe that fits for Apple is the golden ESPN assets which potentially may be on the table in one form or another as [Disney CEO Bob] Iger and the board strategically and carefully look at Disney’s core assets over the coming months.”
Disney has sought reportedly sought out using Apple as a means of distribution to spread ESPN’s reach. Then, Disney considered spinning ESPN off into its own company no longer under the Disney umbrella.
Apple potential grows with ESPN in its arsenal
If that is the case, the opportunity arises for Apple. It can take over ESPN and the associated media rights deals that come along with it. With Apple’s technological breadth and how many billions of their devices are in people’s hands, the sports streaming world could find a new home.
Apple has already inquired about taking over the Bundesliga. Moreover, Apple’s tenure with the MLS rights has been successful. The arrival of Lionel Messi shot up subscriptions to MLS Season Pass. According to reports on the fairly secretive numbers, the MLS streaming platform is approaching 1 million subscribers.
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If Apple heeds Ives’s advice to take over ESPN, Apple would instantly be a major hub for sports coverage in the United States.
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