Apple has passed on the opportunity to bid on Premier League rights in the United Kingdom because the Cupertino-based company only wants global deals. In doing so, Apple is sending the following message to not only the Premier League but all other major soccer leagues — “Give us global deals, or don’t give us anything at all.” 

It’s an indication that Apple is using MLS Season Pass as the blueprint for all other future rights deals it does with soccer leagues around the world. The tech giant wants leagues to align their current media rights deals so they all end at the same time, thus giving Apple TV the opportunity to stream games worldwide.

As the world’s largest company, Apple is also try to force change within the industry. We reported that Apple has been in talks with the Bundesliga. Certainly, other leagues are interested too.

Apple’s senior vice president of services maintains that the global breadth of broadcasting a league is at the forefront of the provider’s mind.

“What’s important to us is the global rights,” Cue told The Mirror. “We’re a global company, we have customers in every country in the world, a large number of customers, and it’s not exciting for me to have something that you can have but you can’t have.”

Cue added that he does not see a time where Apple would go in on a bid for a small set of coverage offerings.

“In general, we never sign any deal with any league in a specific country or a small sub-sub countries, and I’d say it was highly unlikely we’d ever do that. I don’t think we’d ever do that.”

Innovation with MLS Season Pass

The innovative Apple also backed out of entering the fight for the Premier League rights in the UK because it likes the freedom to change things up, like it has done with MLS Season Pass. Cue named MLS 360, the provider’s whiparound show, as one example of revolutionizing the broadcast.

It’s unclear whether Cue knows that the Premier League already has its own whiparound show, Goal Rush.

“Another matter is that we’re throwing a significant amount of engineering and expertise into the MLS product and I can’t justify throwing what I think are the best engineers in the world on a small sub-set product,” Cue said. “It has to be a partnership because our level of investment is significant. I never say never without knowing all of the information.”

Apple focus on MLS is blow for UK Premier League rights

Even if Apple was not going to win the UK Premier League rights, the league wanted the provider to at least bid. As of now, interest in the UK rights is petering out due to increased prices and the league’s motion to decrease the number of total packages. As a result, the league would have fewer broadcasters, but each of those broadcasters would air more games. For example, the Premier League wants Amazon to broadcast more than its current 20-game slate per season.

Moreover, Viaplay is withdrawing from the UK market, which means a potential bidder is not going to bid on rights. Consequently, the Premier League hopes Disney or DAZN can at least challenge Sky Sports, Amazon and TNT Sports.

Additional reporting by Christopher Harris

Photo Credit: Imago