Big tech companies is making a big play for live sports

Big tech companies, including Apple, Google, and others are trying to replace cable television to stream live sports.

More than a decade after Apple disrupted the music industry and Amazon upended retail, the tech heavyweights have set their sights on a new arena ripe for change: live sports.

Emboldened by their deep pockets and eager to boost viewership of their streaming-subscription services, Apple and Amazon have thrust themselves into negotiations for media rights held by the NFL, MLB, Formula One racing and college conferences.

The tech companies’ interest is a thrill for sports leagues and a terror for media companies that fear competition from rivals that collect tens of billions of dollars from dominant positions in other businesses. Last year, sports accounted for 95 of the 100 most viewed programs on television.

“It’s hard when you’re competing with entities that aren’t playing by the same financial rules,” said Bob Iger, the former CEO and chairman of The Walt Disney Co., which controls ESPN, referring to tech companies’ bankroll.

The NFL Sunday Ticket package — which shows out-of-market Sunday NFL games that aren’t being shown on local television — is available because DirecTV chose not to bid. It has been losing as much as $500 million annually on the package, though it has also benefited from a reliable base of about 2 million subscribers Read more…..


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