There are allegedly discussions about broadcasting Sunday NFL games on Apple TV Plus.
In place of longtime sponsor Pepsi, Apple Music will sponsor the Super Bowl halftime performance in February of next year. The Super Bowl LVI halftime show, which featured performances from Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar, was seen by nearly 120 million people, according to a press statement from the NFL. The NFL reportedly had been shopping the sponsorship arrangement around for about $50 million, though the actual details of the agreed-upon agreement were not made public, according to the New York Times.
The agreement comes at a time when Apple and other providers of streaming services are increasingly looking to sports as a source of development. Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer events will already be televised by Apple on Apple TV Plus, while rival Amazon has a deal with the NFL to air Thursday Night Football.
American Football in particular is regarded as one of the most popular live sports on television. 75 of the top 100 most watched shows in 2021, according to Sports Business Journal, were sports telecasts, 95 of which were NFL games.
Apple is apparently in negotiations with the NFL for the rights to a selection of Sunday football games, in addition to agreeing to sponsor the Super Bowl's halftime show, according to the NYT. The league reportedly held conversations with Google, Amazon, and ESPN to broadcast the games, but it's believed that talks with Apple are the most far along. The NFL is reportedly asking $2.5 billion for the package, a significant increase from the estimated $1.5 billion value of its current NFL Sunday Ticket agreement with DirecTV.
Though it has occasionally happened in the past, Apple rarely sponsors events that are not under its control. The business sponsored the Met Gala in 2016 in an effort to market the Apple Watch as a fashionable accessory. Pepsi began a ten-year sponsorship of the Super Bowl halftime show in 2013, marking the beginning of the partnership. The annual halftime show is "the most watched musical performance of the year," according to a press release from the NFL. However, the 161 million viewers who turned in to witness the Eurovision Song Contest in May surpassed this year's viewership of barely 120 million.
The second Super Bowl will be held in Glendale, Arizona on February 12, 2023. Over the upcoming months, Apple Music's social media outlets on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter can be expected to release a lot of "exclusive details and sneak peaks" regarding the show.