Apple 'Ready to Spend Billions' on Live Sports Content [Report]

Apple 'Ready to Spend Billions' on Live Sports Content [Report]

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Apple is 'ready to spend billions' on live sports content, according to a new report from Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives.

It's estimated that Apple TV+ has only 20 million paid subscribers and about 45 million global accounts. Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Hulu, HBO, and Peacock have stepped up their efforts to deliver original content since the pandemic hit and Apple is looking for a path to growth over the next decade.

Since Apple chose not to buy a movie studio (MGM, Lionsgate, A24, Hello Sunshine), Ives believes live sports programming may be essential to the service's future success. Reports have suggested that Apple is aggressively bidding on MLB's weekday package for next season and is ready to make a sizeable investment in future sports programming as contracts come up for renewal.

With Apple spending ~$7 billion annually on original content and having roughly $200 billion of cash on its balance sheet, we believe the company is gearing up to bid on a number of upcoming sports packages coming up for contract/renewals in future years. We note that upcoming sports packages potentially for bid over the next four years that Apple can be involved with (in some capacity/semi-exclusive) are: NFL (Sunday Night Ticket), Big Ten, Pac 12, Big East, Big 12, other NCAA sports packages (2024 timing), NASCAR, and the NBA/WNBA. We believe if Apple gets the MLB deal this will be a "shot across the bow" to other networks/streaming players that Cupertino is on the aggressive hunt for live sports content as a core component of driving the future growth/subs of Apple TV+ and ultimately has the massive treasure chest to contend with traditional media behemoths and other tech stalwarts (Amazon, Facebook) as well as DraftKings.

Wedbush sees Apple TV+ becoming a key monetization engine for the company over the coming years and maintains an outperform rating on the stock with a $200 price target.

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Apple 'Ready to Spend Billions' on Live Sports Content [Report]
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