NBA basketball could be Apple’s next big streaming play

NBA basketball could come to Apple TV if new rumors are anything to go by.


NBA basketball could be the next big streaming play for Apple, according to a new report. The company already has deals in place that allow it to stream live baseball (MLB) and football (MLS) but it’s now thought to be turning its hand to another sport entirely.

Apple streams sports via the Apple TV app on a whole host of devices from streaming sticks to smart televisions, not to mention the Apple TV hardware itself. Now, with the NBA rights coming up for renewal it’s thought that Apple will join others in bidding.


CNBC reports that Comcast’s NBCUniversal, Amazon, and Apple are said to be weighing up potential bids for the rights to show live NBA games. Disney and Turner Sports currently hold the contract, and they have an exclusivity period that won’t run out until April of 2024. The contract itself doesn’t end until the conclusion of the 2024/25 season. In short, Apple can’t even put a case forward for streaming NBA games until April next year.

It isn’t yet clear whether the NBA would seek outside bidders or if it would be happy to just renew the contract it already has with Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns Turner Sports, and Disney. “An NBA spokesperson confirmed no talks have taken place with NBCUniversal at this time over national rights,” the report notes.

If Apple was to pick up the NBA rights it would be another incursion into the live-streaming space for a company that continues to spend money on it. The 10-year MLS deal is costing the company $2.5 billion while the MLB receives $85 million per year. The company is also thinking to be keen on picking up the rights to stream live English Premier League games.

While Apple TV+ subscribers get a discount, the MLS subscription is still additional revenue for the company. The MLS Season Pass costs £14.99/$14.99 a month, or £99/$99 a season. It’s likely that the NBA deal would work in a similar fashion.

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