Bose received a broad set of rights that entitle it to prevent players (or coaches) from wearing any other manufacturer’s headphones during televised interviews. This ban extends to TV interviews conducted during pre-season training camps or practice sessions and on game day — starting before the opening kickoff through the final whistle to post-game interviews conducted in the locker room or on the podium. The restriction remains in place until 90 minutes after the play has ended.
Beats, now owned by Apple, released the following statement on the news.
“Over the last few years athletes have written Beats into their DNA as part of the pre-game ritual,” a Beats spokesperson said. “Music can have a significant positive effect on an athlete’s focus and mental preparedness and has become as important to performance as any other piece of equipment.”
Notably, Sony did something similar this summer when it signed a deal with FIFA for the World Cup. During the tournament Beats headphones were banned during media briefings and on match days.
Beats accounts for 61% of the premium headphone market and clearly its competitors are trying hard to catch up. Bose has 22% of the market and Sony has 2%.