Apple's upcoming video service won't offer live sports at launch

It's more interested in delivering game notifications instead.

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Jon Fingas
March 19, 2019 1:08 PM
In this article: apple, entertainment, internet, services
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Whatever video service Apple unveils at its March 25th event, live sports won't be a part of it. The company's Eddy Cue told Sports Illustrated in an interview that there was "not a lot" of thought about competing with Amazon or Facebook to secure rights for live games. While Cue didn't rule it out in the future, he noted that sports rights are "deeply fragmented" based on where, what and how you watch. A service that focuses on obtaining rights is "always going to be tiny," he said.

Instead, Apple is more interested in delivering notifications for important events through its TV app, steering you to other apps that can provide live coverage. If a match goes into overtime, for instance, you'll know to fire up a TV subscription service and tune in. The tech giant won't necessarily mind. It already rakes in money for people who subscribe to third-party services through the App Store, so it stands to profit even it's not offering as-it-happens coverage.

The strategy isn't completely surprising. Many expect Apple to focus on a more Netflix-like service with on-demand shows rather than a live offering akin to PlayStation Vue or Sling TV. Even so, this sheds some light on Apple's thinking -- it's not concerned about trying to serve absolutely everyone.

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Apple's upcoming video service won't offer live sports at launch