Apple To Bid For EPL Streaming Rights [Rumor]

Yesterday, The Daily Mail reported that both Apple and Google are interested in purchasing rights to stream Premier League content through their respective Apple TV and Google TV services. This will allow Apple TV to gain a strong foothold in the United Kingdom and also boost its iPad sales.The rights which ESPN and Sky hold to screen football matches expire at the end of the 2011-2012 season, and the Premier League will consider bids for next season.The Mail also reported that Sky, ESPN and Al Jazeera are three bidders currently interested for broadcast rights.

Apple’s iTunes has a secure subscription infrastructure already in place in the U.K. however, Apple TV is struggling to establish itself due to lack of streaming apps offered in the country. For now the service currently offers subscription packages to NBA Basketball, Major League Baseball, and National Hockey League apps. Therefore, a Premier League app would put Apple in the driver’s seat and gain market presence considerably.

ESPN and SkySports are allowed to show live games, ESPN is even allowed to show goals through the “ESPN goals” app. Whereas The BBC, only has permission to screen highlights on “Match of the Day” in the U.K. Sky paid £1.6 billion for its current packages, and ESPN is apparently trying to purchase more content.The Premier League has a massive global audience, so it seems natural that Apple would go after the rights, especially after recent reports indicated Apple’s rumored high-definition television is slated for a 2012 launch.