According to Business F1, Apple is considering making a bid of up to $2 billion per year for the rights to show Formula 1 races.
The iPhone maker has “wargamed” the notion and is currently seriously considering an offer, the magazine’s unnamed sources said.
A request for response from Insider was not immediately answered by Apple.
Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, was mocked for his amateurish flag-waving at the US Grand Prix in October of last year, but it doesn’t appear that this diminished his enthusiasm for the activity.
Offering $2 billion a year would be roughly double what Formula 1 Group currently earns from worldwide TV rights. Liberty Media, which owns Live Nation and Sirius XM, is the owner of this company. A request for response from Insider was not immediately answered, and Formula 1 Group declined to speak to Business F1.
Business F1 said that Apple’s interest in other sports may have been spurred by its success with the Major League Soccer (MLS) rights.
It acquired the worldwide broadcast rights to Major League Soccer last year in a 10-year contract worth $250 million annually. Apple has not provided any statistics on its own, but Sports Business Journal reported in July that there were nearly one million MLS Season Pass subscribers.
According to numbers from analytics firm Antenna published by The Wall Street Journal, Apple TV+ attracted approximately 110,000 MLS customers on July 21 – the day Lionel Messi made his debut for Inter Miami.
While Apple TV+ customers pay $12.99 per month or $25 per season for Apple TV+, an MLS Season Pass costs $14.99 per month or $29 per season.
According to Forbes, Apple wouldn’t be able to purchase all US F1 rights until 2025 due to current agreements with ESPN and ABC. In the UK, a contract between satellite broadcaster Sky and Channel 4 that expires in 2026 gives them the right to broadcast races.
For Apple, which has been attempting to increase the number of subscribers to its streaming service in the face of fierce industry rivalry, the wait might be worthwhile. According to research company Parks Associates, revenue from cable subscriptions and sports streaming in the US is anticipated to rise from $13.1 billion last year to $22.6 billion by 2027.
Not just Apple but several major streaming services are entering the sports market. According to Sports Media Watch, Amazon secured the rights to Thursday Night Football last year, and the first game of the current season in September drew a record 15 million people to their streaming service.