Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Apple TV+ bid for UK soccer streaming rights unlikely to proceed

A Soccer Ball

Apple is no longer planning to take on the broadcast rights to the English Premier League, Eddy Cue has signaled, with a deal to bring the soccer league to its streaming service seemingly no longer on the pitch.

There has been speculation that Apple was keen to sign a deal with the English Premier League, with expectations of a bid from the streaming service to take over after the current Sky Sports and BT Sport deal expires in 2025. Despite rumors Apple considered making a bid, comments from Apple SVP of Services Eddy Cue indicate otherwise.

The bids from broadcasters are expected to be in the region of 3 billion pounds ($3.8 billion) per season in total, with smaller limited packages also set to be offered by the league. However, Apple is more interested in an all-encompassing deal like it has for Major League Soccer on Apple TV+ than a piecemeal approach.

"I don't like the word exclusivity because that's important but not as important," said Cue according to The Sun. "What's important to us is global rights."

"We're a global company, we have a large number of customers in every country in the world, and it's not exciting for me to have something that one person can have but another can't."

Cue continued "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. It has to be a partnership because our level of investment is significant."

Despite the strong indication in his language, Cue does stop short of claiming such a deal was completely off the table.

"I never say never without knowing all of the information," he added when pressed. "But in general we never sign any deal with any league in a specific country or a small subset of countries and I'd say it was highly unlikely we'd ever do that. I don't think we'd ever do that."

Cue further insists that an MLS style deal would've been more attractive to take on. "We wouldn't want to invest to do that because we're not a typical investor trying to fill in some gaps. MLS is our Number One thing and we want it to be a huge success."

In a rare interview in May, Cue explained about how Apple says no to "almost everything," and that to get to "yes," whatever's at offer needs to be something Apple is good at, and something consumers value and care about.