Tim Cook & Co. really want Apple TV Plus to be considered one of the best streaming services, at least if the latest reports are true. A new report shows that Apple is in "serious talks" with Major League Baseball, with the goal of broadcasting MLB live streams from the next season, which begins this March.
The news comes from the New York Post, which notes that "The package MLB has been attempting to sell is weekday national games that ESPN recently relinquished." Those are Monday and Wednesday games, and it's "unclear at this point" if Apple will be able to get even more exclusivity for these streams with blackouts on regional sports networks.
This news is kind of inevitable. Amazon Prime Video and pro football have been working together for years, and that service will be the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football NFL live streams this fall. This MLB and Apple deal is not expected to be worth as much as that deal.
Apple's wanted to get into live sports streams for a while, as reports from last summer showed the tech giant wanted to get NFL Sunday Ticket, which DirecTV currently controls. But nobody's closed the deal on the 2022-2023 Sunday Ticket contract yet.
Analysis: Apple TV Plus needs sports
This deal wouldn't be a huge shock, as many of the latest streaming services (titans such as HBO Max, Disney Plus, Netflix and Hulu are seemingly cool with not playing this game) are getting into the sports streams business.
It's not just the aforementioned NFL on Prime Video situation. Peacock will host Super Bowl 2022 (and it already has the psuedo-sport that is WWE) and the Winter Olympics. Paramount Plus has NFL games thanks to its local CBS networks and Champions League games too.
And the reasoning here for why some services feel a need for sports and other don't is obvious. Peacock, Paramount Plus and Apple TV are services that you might not feel like you always need. Services that you can cancel once the latest season of Ted Lasso or Girls5Eva is over.
And the companies behind these services don't want that image for their products. Adding games across a whole season of a single sport could be the kind of thing that makes Peacock or Apple TV Plus a must for those months when they don't have new series, and then their bigger shows could debut during the off-season. With MLB games, Apple TV Plus has a stronger case to be considered as one of the best streaming services, which they aren't (yet).