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Apple A-Z » Apple Software

Apple Sports

Apple Sports

Apple Sports is an app dedicated to helping sports fans keep up with the latest results. Personalizable for a user's selected teams or leagues, users can keep track of live games with minute-by-minute updates and constantly-updated statistics.

● Live and recent sports results
● Personalized results feed
● Multiple leagues supported
● Per-minute updates of events
● Links you to live game feeds
● Syncs with Apple News
● Available free on iOS

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Introduced on February 21, the Apple Sports app is a free app for iOS that provides real-time sports results to sports fans. The app, available to download from the App Store, is initially launched in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom for iPhones running iOS 17.2 or later.

As the name suggests, the whole purpose of Apple Sports is to keep sports fans informed of games and matches that relate to the sports they follow. Both for teams they support and for the leagues in general. 

On initially opening up Apple Sports, users are greeted by a screen stating the app is to help them “stay up to date with real-time scores, stats, fixtures, and play-by-play for all your favorite leagues and teams.” 

Users can personalize Apple Sports feeds by following teams and leagues. Users can personalize Apple Sports feeds by following teams and leagues.

Aside from some featured games, the app then asks users to select their favorite leagues and teams. Once leagues and teams are selected, the app will populate fully with recent results, games that will be played today, and upcoming matches. 

Apple Sports currently supports ten initial leagues across a variety of sports, including: 

  • MLS
  • NBA
  • NCAA Basketball (Men’s and Women’s)
  • NHL
  • Bundesliga
  • LaLiga
  • Liga MX
  • Ligue 1
  • Premier League
  • Serie A

More leagues will be added to the roster over time, including the MLB, NFL, NCAAF, NWSL, and WNBA. Leagues like the NFL aren't available at launch due to it being off season. 

Leagues and teams that are followed in the Apple Sports app will be synchronized with Apple News, Apple TV, and other Apple apps, adjusting what sports news and features are available to the user. This can be disabled from within the app by tapping the profile picture then toggling Sync My Sports. 

Rather than encouraging users to stay in an app for an extended period of time, Apple instead sees the app as one where users spend a few seconds to see results, or spend a few minutes going play-by-play. 

Info in Apple Sports

Once populated with teams and league fixtures, Apple Sports provides curated results in three time periods. Yesterday deals with concluded games that occurred one day ago. 

The Today tab shows games that either have been played already, is currently being played, or will be played later that day. Upcoming shows a list of games that will be played in the near future. 

The lists can be organized a few ways using a filter in the top right, with options to view all of a user’s selected leagues, all selected teams, a specific league, or a specific followed team. 

Live statistics are available for games, updated over time. Live statistics are available for games in Apple Sports, updated over time.

Selecting one of the matchups fills the screen with information about the fixture, though the data shown varies depending on the sport, as well as whether the game has been played, will be played, or is in play. 

Tapping a played game will show detailed results of the matchup in a summary, including team stats throughout the game, betting odds, and league scores. For some games, a Play-By-Play will outline the various incidents and important events that happened during the game. 

Another tab for played games, Box Score or Line Up depending on the sport, offers more data about players on both teams. 

Live games will show the same data points as an already-played game, but will update as the game progresses. If the live game is available to watch from within an app or a service that’s connected to Apple TV, the game’s video feed can be launched for viewing. 

Apple Sports gives minute-by-minute updates, and even helps users watch the matches live Apple Sports gives minute-by-minute updates, and even helps users watch the matches live

Upcoming games offer a little bit less information about a fixture, including betting odds, league scoreboards, and basic details about the game itself. 

While there is no option within the app to change the types of information displayed for each game, users can disable the betting odds information via the Settings app. The betting odds are provided by DraftKings. 

League Agreements and broadcast futures

Apple has worked with various sports leagues outside of Apple Sports in a variety of ways, but the most prominent is for Apple TV deals. For a number of major leagues around the world, Apple offers passes that grant users live coverage of matches and games for the teams they follow. 

It already has deals and packages for Major League Baseball's "Friday Night Baseball," which provides live coverage of featured games in the MLB schedule each week. 

For Major League Soccer, the MLS Season Pass provides fans in over 100 countries the ability to watch games from the league. For the 2024 season, the popularity of the service has been boosted by the presence of Lionel Messi.  

Apple was once tipped to place a bid for coverage of the English Premier League, but ultimately decided against going for the UK broadcast rights due to its restrictions

Similarly, Apple also hoped to sign the NFL Sunday Ticket deal in 2023, but lost out to YouTube

The NBA is also another potential league it could work with, and reports from 2023 claimed it was interested in a bid. Furthermore, Apple was also supposedly considering a grab for local NBA TV rights from the fallen broadcaster Bally Sports in August 2023. 

Rights deals aren't just limited to major internationally-recognized leagues. In 2022, Apple was rumored to be bidding for the rights for the Dutch Eredivisie soccer league. 

An MLS Season Pass ad spot An MLS Season Pass ad spot

In an arguably bigger play, Apple has also been forecast to make an attempt to acquire sports channel ESPN, which analysts feel could considerably bolster its sports ambitions. 

Apple's shift into live sports broadcasting has been a strategic play to diversify its revenue and to engage a larger audience, said Eddy Cue in a September 2023 interview. It offered Apple a big opportunity, since it wanted to grow revenue beyond hardware sales. 

Apple also wants to revolutionize how sports are broadcast, including changing the schedule of MLS games to be more viewer-friendly. Its involvement could be used as a blueprint for Apple's future live sports broadcasting endeavors, Cue added. 

The initial deal with MLS was a cautious one, as Apple included a clause to walk away from the ten-year agreement at any time, if it failed to secure enough subscribers. That now seems to be an unlikely thing to happen given the Messi-led popularity, but it does demonstrate Apple is keen to make the best deal for itself to pave the way for Apple Sports.