Apple Making More Moves Into Live Sports
There was more live sports talk from Apple at WWDC 2022.
We learned much about the future direction of Apple at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week. There were a whole host of new features announced across its product range, including a further indication of Apple's interest in sports media.
With iOS and iPadOS 16, Apple is introducing Live Activities. This will provide alerts following events happening in real-time, including sports matches, in its newly redesigned Lock Screen.
It is also introducing a Live Sports section in its own News app. The feature, pictured above, will allow users to follow their favourite teams and leagues, receive stories from a number of publishers and access scores, schedules, and standings for the top professional and college leagues. Crucially, it will also let users watch highlights right in the app itself. So, the video part of the offering is not live, but other parts of the coverage will be.
Challenging ‘The Athletic’
At first glance, the latest move from Apple struck me as a direct challenge to The Athletic. Not only does that publication boast some of the best in-depth writing about sport around, it lets readers focus on specific teams and leagues and has also branched out to do live updates too. While The Athletic is a subscriber product, there was no indication that the News offering will require users to part with cash. (Those who already subscribe to News+ were promised a premium service, though no specifics were given at WWDC.)
Alongside the launch of its Friday Night Baseball broadcasts in the TV app, this all means Apple is slowly but surely becoming evermore associated with sports coverage in the eyes of consumers and rights holders.
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