Apple has taken a serious interest in picking up global streaming rights for Formula 1, with a bid of close to $2 billion reportedly required to make this happen.
As things stand, a number of different media agencies hold the right to stream the sport across the world.
Sky holds a contract with F1 for streaming rights in the UK and Ireland that lasts until 2029 for a yearly figure of around £200 million.
Meanwhile, ESPN broadcasts the sport in the United States in a deal that lasts till 2025 and is priced in the range of $75 million to $90 million a year.
Other media outlets have access to F1 and broadcast it in their respective countries which brings the sport’s earning through all broadcasting partners to around $1 billion.
If the deal with Apple does go through, not only will the company eventually gain exclusive rights to all F1 content globally, but it will be a significant feather in its cap following its foray into rights for Major League Soccer (MLS) this season.
With Apple reportedly serious about tabling a bid to get access to F1 content, it is worth noting that they wouldn’t get exclusivity immediately even if the deal does go through.
It is believed that F1, who themselves have a streaming channel that is responsible for bringing the sport to a big part of the world, would only allow 25% access to Apple.
This would, therefore, mean that Apple is initially restricted mainly to the United States before it slowly gains global rights in a few years as the existing contracts run out.
It is worth noting that this isn’t Apple’s first attempt to enter the F1 bandwagon, with the company already in the midst of filming a movie about F1, which is produced by seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt.
While no official moves have been made yet, the Formula One Group is reportedly keen on hearing more about Apple’s interest and has asked for a formal Expression of Interest (EoI) form to be filled by the firm.