back to article Apple shoots for Premier League soccer streaming rights

Apple will push for further global domination by taking on Sky, the BBC and multimedia rival Google in the billion-pound fight for the rights to transmit Premier League football. With bidding for the 2013-2014 season and beyond set to take place before the end of the current, 2011-2012 soccer season, there have been …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. DZ-Jay



    Is El Reg all'merkin now?

    1. Armando 123


      But "football" is ambiguous, particularly with all the all'merkins reading the publication and seeing the ads. This is particularly true at this time of year, as the NFL playoffs start this weekend.

      1. Ru

        On Ambiguity

        So is there a 'Premier League Football' in the states, or Oz, which might cause a namespace collision?

    2. Shaun 1

      Soccer isn't an americanism

      It's been around in England in one spelling or other since the 1880s.

      It's short for Association

    3. Anonymous Coward 101


      Soccer does not have a monopoly on the word 'football'. Hull F.C. is not a soccer team, and the Rugby Football Union is not a union for soccer players in the town of Rugby.

      It is legitimate for Americans to use the word 'football' for their sport as it is simply a variant of another form of 'football', albeit one in which kicking the ball is especially limited.

      1. Citizen Kaned


        rugby is a poor example. rugby should never be called 'football' but 'rugby football' (hence the RFC on many teams names). football was around a long time as a real sport before some numpty picked up the ball and ran with it (and presumably got the shit kicked out of him) at rugby school.

        americans were also dumb for choosing a name of a popular sport to call their new game.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "rugby is a poor example. rugby should never be called 'football' but 'rugby football' (hence the RFC on many teams names)."

          Well, when I was at school we played football with teams consisting of 15 players using an oval ball. There was also an 11-a-side game using a round ball that the day school linked to our boarding school played .... but that was "association football" (hence the AFC on many team names)

        2. Richard Taylor 2


          Real (tm) football, played by real men (tm) has its origins in the UK at least as far back as the middle ages - - a reel game for reel players and plenty of nlood to be spilt during the game

          1. Captain Underpants

            @Richard Taylor 2

            Way to fail at Wikipedia, my good sir. Did you notice the link at the very top of the page you posted, labelled "Football (disambiguation"? Its at in case you're curious, and starts off with the following line:

            "Football refers to any of several similar team sports of similar origins that involve advancing a ball into a goal area in an attempt to score."

            Perhaps this will help you get over the fact that, in the English language, there is more than one word that can be used to describe the sport in question and that the one you happen to prefer is more ambiguous than you care to admit.

      2. Shaun 1

        I know in Australia, Footy or Football usually means either Rugby League or Aussie Rules, Soccer means association football.

        Hence the socceroos

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Captain Underpants


      Nope, but since there are several games commonly referred to as football in areas where they are popular (eg gaelic, american, rugby), but only one game is commonly known as "soccer", the use of the term in a tech blog with an international readership avoids confusion. And since the brainspace overhead of a single word which you may consider to be largely synonymous with another word is generally quite low, it's not even that difficult to cope with seeing it.

      Don't let that stop you from having a good old whinge though.

    6. Anonymous Coward

      Could just be that the word "soccer" originated on YOUR side of the pond.

      1. ratfox

        That cannot be possible

        If the word had been invented on this side of the pond, it would be called soccre, as in center and centre. Or possibly, souccre, as in color and colour.

  2. Andy 97
    Thumb Down

    Any chance you can make me even more depressed today?

    Fucking hell, Apple, Google & Sky - the axis of evil.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      This is streaming or IPTV rights, not traditional terrestrial broadcasting rights. They're very creative these media types, they lock down rights based on the medium format, hence why many DVDs had to be delayed or pulled when it was noted that the previous rights only applied to tape.

  3. FunkyEric

    Godd plan, make it so that virtually no-one in the UK can watch football and shaft the Murdoch empire at the same time. Seems like a win-win scenario to me!

    1. Shaun 1

      And it saves me subsidising the football coverage when I have little to no interest in it outside of the months of December-January

  4. Citizen Kaned

    whats the bettting...

    that all this does is raise the cost of football for those of us that have sky sports HD (via virgin TiVo, i hate murdock but me and my son do love watching footy)

    so, i might need another box to watch football then? wankers.... if its apple it will be shitty 720 and stereo too?!?

    1. Ru

      It has happened before

      Price of watching Formula 1 is going up, courtesy of Sky. Not so much cricket on broadcast TV either these days... funnily enough, that's coincided with a decrease in popularity of the sport in the young, so teams are finding it harder to get new players.

      1. Eponymous Cowherd

        More like courtesy of the BB sodding C

        Can't really blame Sky when the BBC was so eager to bend over and take it right up the jacksey.

        1. Sean Baggaley 1

          Considering "Doctor Who" had higher weekly viewing figures...

          ... than any particular league soccer* match on any given week, I can't blame them for not wanting to piss even more precious money into a sport surprisingly few people actually care a damn about.

          Note that I'm not even referring to the revived "Doctor Who" series, but the broadcasts of the show during 1970s and '80s, when there was no BSkyB to compete with: Peak viewing figures for First Division—the Premier League didn't appear until the early '90s—matches was about 4 million. Today, individual matches are lucky to get over a million viewers.

          [Source: ]

          The BBC is right to not bother wasting too much money on this minority interest. They're already being forced to piss £40m. of TV License revenues on the government's "Local TV" bollocks, and there are other boondoggles—including ADSL rollouts to rural areas—that are also being funded from that income.

          Let Apple or Sky have it. If it's that bloody interesting to you, it's worth paying for. If you don't want to pay for it, it obviously isn't _that_ entertaining.

          1. Sean Baggaley 1

            * As others have pointed out...

            "Soccer" was the normal *British English* name for the sport during its early days. An abbreviation of "associationer".

            "Football" is a generic name for a group of related ball sports. Referring to a sport solely as "football" is like referring to our own species solely as "Homo". There are only two unambiguous names for the specific variant of football most played in the UK: "Association Football" and "Soccer". The English invented *both* names, so you don't get to claim that it's some kind of Americanisation.

            1. Citizen Kaned


              the other 'football' sports hardly kick the ball.

              rugby - bit of kicking

              aussie rules - bit of kicking

              us football - rarely any kicking

              gaelic - who knows... i think much less.

              football comes from 'foot the ball' so real football is the only one that should use the name and as a sport has been around much longer than the others

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Title is optional

            You're totally neglecting the fact that there's about 10-15 episodes of Dr Who a year vs roughly 132 premier league games (33 weeks in a season, appx 4 live games a week). If you look at unique viewers then my money's on the premiership. That's not to say I agree with the price paid per episode/event. The price sky pay is just crazy.

  5. Ol'Peculier

    They could...

    Whilst I don't give a rat's arse to football and all it stands for, it would be interesting if they could get F1 onto the platform - it's a technical-lead sport, and has been royally shafted by the BBC & Sky.

    1. Eponymous Cowherd

      And it would continue to be shafted by the BBC....

      The BBC gets your licence fee whether they show all, some or no races. You have to pay the BBC to watch F1 *live* in the UK irrespective of who *else* you also have to pay, be it Sky or Apple.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great news...

    For all those poor souls - perhaps this will finally force them to get a less disappointing hobby! Hahahaaaahahahahahaaaa

  7. NeverYouMind


    It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the Premier League decide to create a 'new' set of broadcast rights markets that are specifically for these style of set-top boxes (like the AppleTV, Google TV, Xbox & PS3 too) just so they can milk out an extra £500m+ out of these companies.

    But on the other hand, if it means less games are set to be shown on Sky Sports then by all means do it, for me that will be Sky's punishment for taking half of Formula 1 behind a paywall.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Surely competition for Murdoch has to be good news?

  9. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Real Axis of evil

    Murdoch's world - AlJazera

    These currently have a significant media presence.

    Google is a wannabe but the Google-Tv seems to have flopped (or done a Zune...) Perhaps they might get 3rd time lucky.

    Apple is coming from nowhere in this area.

    I guess it would be a mega coup for Apple to get the footie rights.

    Murdoch (both of them) will be royally pissed of it the did. Sky would have to cut its subscriptions drastically or there will be a mass exodus of Footie fans. There is no way re-broadcasting the previous days US Sports (American Football, Baseball (even makes cricket seem exciting), BasketBall and Hockey (Ice hockey to us on this side of the pond) would be able to satisfy the withdrawal symptoms that the current Sky footie fans will go through is Sky lost the rights.

    The spoof TV show 'Hacks' that was shown over the holidays should be required watching for anyone who dislikes News Corp.

    My money is on Google to get it.

    But whoever wins, we can say goodbye to ANY Premier League Footie on Free TO Air TV from the end of the 2012/13 season. All that will be left will be Europe, FA Cup and <insert sponsor here> Cup.

    Coat? Yep, I'll be walking the dog a lot more if this does happen.

  10. Big_Ted
    Thumb Up

    Sounds good to me

    Anything that weakens Sky is a good thing.

    Shame for those who love footie but then again if you want it you have to pay for it.

    One quetion come to mind, was this thought of before Steve Jobs died and if so did he use his share holding in Disney to start a joint deal to bid for rights to live and highlights.........

    Enquiring minds should be checking into it.........

    I can see Sky ending with no premier league footie at all with these companies pushing for rights. I am sure that Apple, Google, Disney and Al Jezera have more cash to bid with than Sky can come up with.....

  11. bill 36
    Thumb Up

    who cares

    When and sopcast do the job anyway in ever better quality!

    A few minutes relay delay does not bother me.

  12. Spudbynight

    I call it Soccer

    To differentiate it from my favourite code of football. Rugby Union.

    Mine is the club blazer with the beer stains down the front of it.

    1. Shaun 1

      I can't stand Union*

      But I shall give you a thumbs up anyway.

      I used to get annoyed at the use of the "Americanism" of the word soccer, until I started following TGG, Rugby League and found out the history of the term, and even find myself using it occasionally

      *I've tried watching 2 matches and didn't like it, though I am willing to give it one more chance at some point in the future

  13. bakerwe

    re: Ahhh

    NeverYouMind is right. Its happened before. The EPL was forced to re-package its offerings to avoid a Sky monopoly and all that happened was I was forced to pay for Sky and ESPN to see my team play. Nothing got reduced except my bank balance! In the end, I stopped subscribing and decided that my son and I would support our local team in 1st Div - which has worked out cheaper, better and more fun! If I lived closed enough to a Championship team I would have gone there since they are the fourth most watched league in Europe.

    WTF? - (Watch the football?)

  14. Alan Denman

    Is this the first time that Apple money actually gets to stay in the UK!

    At least until the footballers all fly in from Monaco?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there any chance that all sports broadcasts could be contained within a walled garden?

    And the key to the garden thrown away?

  16. Silverburn


    Football? Yet another non-plus point for owning an Apple TV device. Then again, my football knowledge extends as far as knowing it's 11 players each, all over them overpaid.

    Roll on something practical like Skype or Facetime integration, or maybe some proper DLNA support and I'll have another look.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Season ticket packages

    If Apple or google can create a season ticket subscription where you get to see all matches featuring your favourite team then I'd be all over that.

    I don't get sky sports because a) it's murdoch b) I don't want to watch manure or chelski all the time

    I'm sure supporters of the other teams outside the top 4 also feel like their team is never featured as much

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fuck 'em.

    Best thing about SKY is that you can point a dish into the ether from anywhere.

    One thing I can guarantee about an Apple "service" is that it'll be geolocation-locked to fuck....

    1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

      Satellites *are* inherently geolocation-locked... just fuzzy at the edges!

      "Best thing about SKY is that you can point a dish into the ether from anywhere."

      Of course- you can point it anywhere you please.

      However, if you're in (say) Australia- or indeed anywhere too far outside the satellite's transmission beam- you're not going to have much luck picking up transmissions aimed at the UK.

  19. b166er

    Why don't they just license the football to all platforms?

    Say it's £2bn, the Beeb, $ky, Apple and Google could pay £500m each and all broadcast it. This would provide greater coverage for the advertisers.

    I don't see how the exclusivity helps advertisers (or viewers).

  20. M7S

    Apple getting the football rights will actually solve quite a bit of confusion

    Rugby, Soccer, American Football - whatever

    They'll all have to hold it the same way one this goes through

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    American Football - Pah

    The only time they ever kick the ball is to score a 'field goal'.

    Can't really be called Football can it.

    There again all those generations of marrying 1st Cousins has lowered their IQ so fat they probably don't know what feet are for.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not true, they also punt it every so often as well ;)

      Which is kinda similar to Rugby Union/League.

      And if complaining about American Football, why dont you complain about the RFU, Rugby Football Union

  22. Paul E

    sky are forced to sell Sky sports 1 and 2 to BT vision

    which is also a streaming service so I assume any Apple streaming service would fall under ofcom as well (I think there is a difference between VOD where its coming off a hard disk somewhere and live streaming?). If that's the case and they landed a significant number of games they could well be forced to offer the games to other distribution companies, e.g. sky and VM?

  23. Caffeine Junkie

    Daily Mail? Really?

    Have we started believing everything the Daily Mail publishes now?

  24. ColonelClaw

    Please let this happen

    I would pay good money to see the expression on the faces of James and Rupert Murdoch should they lose the footy rights. I don't care who buys them, anyone but Sky

  25. tmTM

    Not more set top boxes

    I really do not want anything more hanging off my TV, moreover I really don't want to have a box from every sodding tech giant out there just so I can keep watching everything I am at the moment.

  26. Hooksie


    The A is for article. Any chance you dullards could engage first gear and actually read the article before you start spouting your ill informed nonsense? The article is about STREAMING rights not broadcasting rights

    The only effect it would presumably have is that all of us who currently pay Sky or ESPN for football would not necessarily be able to view those matches online or on the Sky go app

    Then again, maybe it would have no effect and mean that some other matches might be shown. Who knows, maybe even the ban on showing Saturday 3pm matches will erode.

    Regardless though, it's pay per view so if you don't like it and don't pay for it, why are you commenting? Maybe we could force the extra money to be used to subsidise ticket prices rather than player's already exorbitant salaries?

    1. Chris007

      thanks - saved me the time of explaining it

      I'd just read through all the posts thinking exactly the same - did these people not RTFA.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like