Apple TV+ VS Disney+? Former Expressed Interest in NBA Streaming Rights

Apple TV+ VS Disney+? Former Expressed Interest in NBA Streaming Rights

While Disney has owned the rights to broadcast NBA shows in the past 20 years, it is expected that NBA will eventually become exclusive to the Disney+ streaming platform. However, with Disney’s rights to broadcast NBA shows set to end in April 2024, the NBA might consider other options like NBCUniversal or Apple according to a report by CNBC.

According to CNBC’s sources, NBCUniversal executives have expressed interest to have the rights to NBA once again. Based on what was discussed, NBC Sports wants a package where they can include the broadcast of Playoff games on NBC’s broadcast network, while regular-season games might be made exclusive to Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service.

To make things even more interesting, Apple and Amazon also expressed their interest to gain NBA streaming rights. While Amazon already has NBA streaming rights in Brazil, it will be interesting if Apple gets the streaming rights–should it happen, this will be a big boost to Apple’s TV+ streaming service, which is lagging behind more established ones like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. This will also strengthen Apple TV+’s sports offerings, as the NBA has a large global audience.

While Disney still has the rights until the 2024-2025 NBA season, there are two possible scenarios: one is NBA choosing to stay with Disney for a few more years and possibly make it exclusive to Disney+, and the other is for NBA to “carve out one or two new packages for bidders, pushing their media rights partner from two to either three or four.” The latter would mean that having more media rights would allow NBC, Amazon, and Apple to get games and playoff matches as exclusives to their streaming platforms.

Currently, Apple has secured the rights to stream the Superbowl Halftime Show in a multi-year agreement and has secured rights to Major League Baseball and Major Soccer League.

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