Apple is reportedly looking into expanding their investment in sports programming with Formula 1.
The move would make Apple the exclusive streaming home of the popular international racing division.
According to a report by BusinessF1 Magazine, the massive media tech company is mulling a $2 billion annual deal to stream F1 races.
9to5Mac claims that the potential offer would essentially be double of F1’s current streaming deal with ESPN. The traditional American sports network holds the broadcasting rights to the racing circuit in the United States. ESPN’s deal with F1 is, however, set to expire in 2025. This is where Apple could come into play.
Potential Apple deal for F1 rights may not start as a full exclusive agreement
According to the aforementioned reports, F1 may strike a massive deal with Apple, but only for a percentage of the streaming rights. This could see Apple initially hold on to about 25% of the broadcasting rights at first.
However, the tech company’s streaming exclusivity could then increase over the years to reach 100%. This would allow current contracts in place time to expire. Apple is apparently eyeing a seven-year agreement with F1. While ESPN’s deal is set to expire in 2025, other global deals extend up until 2029.
Tech company looking to build on MLS success
Apple’s apparent interest in obtaining rights to F1 supposedly stems from their success with Major League Soccer. The tech company previously struck a 10-year, $2.5 billion deal to become the exclusive streaming home of the North American soccer league.
Lionel Messi’s arrival to Inter Miami has certainly helped Apple’s confidence in their agreement with MLS. Early reports suggested that Messi boosted MLS Season Pass viewership by 75%. Nevertheless, the superstar has been injured as of late, which is obviously not ideal for Apple.
Any possible partnership between Apple and F1 would likely see the tech company add a standalone subscription to Apple TV+. Soccer fans will be familiar with the situation, as MLS Season Pass is solely available on the streaming service.
Photo credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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