Apple is set to expand its gaming network on Apple TV+ with the inclusion of some NBA games – as reported by CNBC today.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, Apple and Amazon are keen to bid for some carved packages of NBA – after their deal with Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery ends in 2024. This would help Apple TV+ gain more traffic amidst the heavy competition in OTT space.
Apple TV+ Partnership With NBA
With the rise of OTT platforms in this cord-cutting era, media houses are investing billions to add exclusive content to their libraries – and stand on top of the competition. One among them is Apple – aggressively searching for content that pushes its TV+ service up in the line.
And it’s potentially doing it by seeking more and more live games into its library – with MLB Friday Night Baseball and MLS Season Pass being the prime examples. Though it recently passed on acquiring NFL Sunday Ticket rights, the company is reportedly bidding for even bigger deal – for NBA!
As per CNBC, Apple and Amazon are bidding for rights to some carved out parts of NBA game – possibly awarded after the current rightsholders relinquish their terms. Disney and Warner Bros Discovery are having the NBA deal until April 2024, which would open a window for Apple and Amazon.
And it seems likely, since both the platforms are reportedly planning to drop the continuation deal! Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has recently stated that “We don’t have to have the NBA.” But this doesn’t mean Apple is free to take up the deal – as Amazon seems a much viable option for NBA.
And it’s purely because of Apple’s history of tightly controlling the contract deals and content, which causes contention during negotiations. Amazon, on the other hand, is seen less demanding in contract negotiations, thus standing as a better option for NBA.