Apple ‘ready To Spend Billions’ On Live Sports Content Over Next Four Years
Apple is on an “aggressive hunt” for potential deals that would allow it to broadcast live sports content on its TV+ streaming service as part of a wider effort to boost subscription numbers, according to a new report from investment firm Wedbush.
In a new investor note, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said he regards Apple’s decision not to acquire a movie studio yet as a clear indication that it now sees live sports programming as potentially a key piece of its future success for growing the audience of its video streaming service.
Apple has not provided details on Apple TV+ subscriber numbers since the digital streaming service began, but Wedbush estimates that Apple TV+ has around 20 million paid subscribers among roughly 45 million viewers, the rest of which are seeing out free trials included with other Apple product purchases.
That’s a fraction of the number of subscriptions that the likes of Disney+ and Netflix enjoys. Knowing this, Apple is apparently “ready to spend billions” on live sports content over the next four years to drive the future growth of Apple TV+ and make it a key monetization engine in its burgeoning services ecosystem, which earned it $80 billion in annual revenue in the last financial year.
What Are The Differences Between The Apple TV Models
There are currently two different models for sale and one model recently discontinued. And as you can expect, there are some big differences between them.
- Apple TV 4K. This is the flagship Apple TV model it supports 4K and HDR video and contains the same A10 processor as the iPad Pro. If you’re looking to buy Apple TV, this is the top-shelf model.
- Apple TV . This model supports 1080p HD video and has the A8 processor, which is the same processor as the iPhone 6. While you may be tempted to buy the 4th-generation if you don’t have a television that supports 4K or HDR, this model not only buys you the ability to upgrade your television in the future, it also doubles the speed of the processor and quadruples the speed of the graphics.
- Apple TV . This model is no longer available, but you may find one at auction sites like eBay or person-to-person sites like Craigslist. This version delivers video streaming capabilities without the processing power, and it doesn’t have access to the App Store. It’s cheaper than the other models because it’s older, but you may be better off investing in another streaming device like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV.
How To Set Up The TV App For Your Favorite Teams On Apple TV
You can select your favorite teams and be notified when one of their games is on. Your choices for favorite teams will also sync to the TV app on iPhone and iPad.
Select the Sports tab.
Select one of the available sports.
Highlight Favorites to see all of the teams that you’ve chosen in one place.
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Use Cable Providers Apps To Watch Live TV On Apple TV
Another way you can watch live TV channels on Apple TV is to download your cable providers Apple TV app. While not all cable TV providers offer an Apple TV app, some do. And some of those allow you to stream the TV channels available to you right through your Apple TV.
In this way, you can get your regular TV experience right on your Apple TV.
What Is Apple TV 4k
While priced higher than all of its competitors, Apple TV 4K may end up being the best bargain in streaming devices. Apple TV 4K is great for many reasons, the best of which being that if you own one, Apple will upgrade your iTunes movie library to 4K.
The average cost difference between an HD version of a movie and a 4K version of a movie is around $5-$10. If you have ten movies in your iTunes movie library, you are getting around a $75 value in the upgrade to 4K alone. If you have twenty-five movies, Apple TV 4K practically pays for itself.
If you don’t already own a movie, Apple will let you pick up the 4K version for the same price as the HD. You won’t have to pay a premium to get the same movie in its best format.
In terms of picture quality, Apple TV 4K supports both 4K resolution and HDR10. While 4K has all the buzz, High Dynamic Range may be more important to picture quality. As Apple puts it, 4K gives you more pixels on your screen, while HDR gives you better pixels. Instead of just increasing the resolution, HDR gives you a higher range of colors that increases the quality and depth of the image. Apple TV 4K also supports Dolby Vision, which is a form of HDR with an even higher color range.
But Apple TV isn’t just about streaming video. Its powerful processor makes it able to play games, and it has so much power that you might start seeing productivity apps like Numbers and Pages come to the Apple TV.
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Watching Live TV Over
One final option you could consider, especially if you live in a metro or suburban area, is purchasing an antenna. For readers in more rural areas, youll want to check your coverage map to see if you can pick up a feed from your closest broadcasters.
As more and more people, especially younger 20 and 30-somethings, cut the cord, users have discovered that going back to using an antenna can actually be a great way to pick up some television on the cheap. Over the air antennas offer full HD support and, depending on where you live, offer higher fidelity signals than cable or satellite from your broadcasters.
You can plug your antenna right into the back of your television, but if you want to use it with your Apple TVs interface so that youre only ever living within Apples ecosystem you have an option to do just that.
Youll need a fourth or fifth-gen Apple TV to use it with an antenna, thanks to the need for a particular app to pick up the signal from the box you need. Oh, thats right: it isnt enough to do this with just an antenna. Although that might seem like enough to plug into the back of your television, the back of the fourth-gen Apple TV has fewer portsand the 4K model even lacks the USB-C port we saw on the fourth-gen model. That means youll need a way to transmit the signal from an antenna wirelessly to your Apple TV.
What Is Apple TV Plus
Apple TV Plus is Apples premium subscription streaming service that attempts to take on Netflix, Hulu, , and others. Its completely ad-free, except for promotions for content and add-on streaming services within Apple TV Plus. The platform features a host of original shows and movies made under the Apple Originals program.
This bolsters Apples existing Apple TV, which is a that also allows you to access other streaming services. The idea is that you can bring all of your streaming services into one place, rather than having to remember multiple accounts and passwords.
Because we know its confusing with several services and products under the Apple TV banner, heres a breakdown of the three:
- Apple TV : A set-top box that allows you to stream video from iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, ESPN, Hulu, Netflix, and other streaming services. There are currently two models, one for HD and one for 4K. Both models run the Apple TV app.
- Apple TV app: A free app/service that serves as a hub for content from various streaming services, including Apple TV Plus. It also allows individual subscriptions to certain channels as well as movie rentals or purchases. The app comes pre-loaded on the Apple TV set-top box.
- Apple TV Plus: A Netflix-like subscription service with Apple Originals: series and films produced by and/or for Apple.
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How Do I Get Apple TV Channels
To get Channels, your iPhone or iPad needs to run iOS 12.3 or later, and your Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K needs to run tvOS 12.3 or later. The TV app is also available in macOS Catalina or later, some new smart TVs, game consoles, and on Roku and certain Fire TV devices.
Update to iOS 12.3 or tvOS 12.3, and youll see a list of Channels in the TV app.
What Does It Cost
That all depends on which offer you choose. If you buy an Apple device, Apple TV+ is included free for three months.1 A monthly subscription is just $5.99 per month after a free seven-day trial.2 Apple TV+ is included in Apple One, which bundles up to five other Apple services into a single monthly subscription. Apple One plans start at $15.95 per month. The Apple Music Student Plan comes with a free subscription to Apple TV+.3
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Channels App For Live TV On Apple TV
Finally, you need an app to pull that stream into your Apple TV. The Channels app lets you pause live TV for up to ninety minutes and skip commercials. You also get a free programming guide that shows current and upcoming broadcasts. Channels price of $25 is a little steep in a world of free apps, but its reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
How Much Does Espn Plus Cost
How much does ESPN+ cost? You can get an ESPN+ subscription for $6.99 per month, or save over 15% with an ESPN+ Annual Plan at $69.99 per year. You can also bundle ESPN+ with Disney+ and Hulu for $13.99 per month. ESPN+ is $6.99/mo. or $69.99/yr.
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Game Pass Network Sunday Ticket
Things are more complicated in the United States. The NFL divides its content across three separate services with its NFL app.
NFL Game Pass
NFL Game Pass only lets you replay games, not stream live. The annual subscription lets you replay entire games on-demand or watch forty-five minute condensed versions.
NFL Sunday Ticket
NFL Sunday Ticket is a subscription service that lets you stream games played on Sunday afternoons. Just make sure you read the fine print:
- You cant be a DirecTV subscriber
- You must live in a condo or apartment
- You must live in a place where DirecTV satellite service is not available
- Youll only get games broadcast on Fox or CBS
- You wont get games broadcast by ESPN
- You also wont get games broadcast by local Fox or CBS stations
- International games are also not on the menu
- Nor are playoff games
- Or the Super Bowl, either
The NFL app basic
The freemium version of the NFL app lets you watch live streams from the NFL Network, including its Thursday Night Football games. The app is free, but it requires proof that you have a cable or satellite subscription.
Does Apple TV Work With Homekit
Apple TV also gives you access to Siri and can become a base station for HomeKit. The remote includes a Siri button, allowing you to control your TV by voice. You can also use the Siri-like functionality for requests such as telling you the actors in a specific movie or asking it to display movies from a specific genre, actor, or director.
HomeKit works as the headquarters for your smart home. If you have smart appliances like a thermostat or lights, you can use HomeKit to control them. You can even use your iPhone away from home to communicate with Apple TV in your home to control your smart devices.
Why Would I Want Hdhomerun
First off, you’re probably only going to be interested in using HDHomeRun if you are a cord cutter . There is an HDHomeRun box specifically for people that have a cable subscription, but I’m focusing on people that don’t pay for cable and want to watch broadcast TV on their iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV.
You might be asking, “How is this any different from simply watching CBS, NBC, or ABC on my TV?” Because that’s what I asked, at first. Actually, there are two main benefits to using HDHomeRun as a broadcast television channel transmitter.
The obvious benefit is that you can watch broadcast television on any supported device in your house, including computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox One, set-top boxes , and other media centers that support such apps as Plex, Emby, and Kodi. You don’t just have to watch TV on your TV. You can watch it anywhere.
A second benefit is that, with the HDHomeRun DVR subscription, you can record live TV and watch it when you want, even when you don’t have an internet connection. Even app channels for Apple TV don’t offer that â cable subscription or not.
If you’re the type of person that would only watch broadcast television on your TV set and don’t care about being able to record shows to watch later, HDHomeRun is not the set up for you.
Second And Third Generation
The 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TVs run a version of iOS, rather than the modified Mac OS X of the original model. The interface on Apple TV Software 4 is similar to that of previous versions, with only minor changes and feature additions throughout. In March 2012, Apple released a major new software update, with the Apple TV 3rd generation, labeled as Apple TV Software 5 , which shipped with the new 3rd generation Apple TV. This update completely revised the look of the home screen to make it resemble the icon grid seen on iOS. Instead of 7 columns, content and third-party channels are shown in a tiled grid format, which can be rearranged. Throughout the years, for Apple TV Software 56, Apple released minor revisions, content additions, and feature updates.
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Does Apple TV Plus Offer A Free Trial
Apple TV Plus offers a seven-day free trial standard for any new subscriber.
As of July 1, Apple TV Plus offers an extended, three-month free trial to people who buy an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod Touch or Mac. This extended free trial applies to both new and refurbished models, including devices from the iPhone Upgrade Program, and it’s not restricted to any specific sales channel, so it applies to both Apple Store purchases and those at resellers. It’s available in all countries where Apple TV Plus is operating.
Back when Apple TV Plus launched in November 2019, the company offered an extended, one-year free trial for anyone who bought a qualifying Apple gadget. Even though Apple TV Plus is among the cheapest subscription streaming services of its kind, the generous promotion compensated for its lightweight library, which had only nine total titles to watch at the beginning.
Then as Apple TV Plus slowly worked to widen its catalog of original programming, Apple kept extending those yearlong free trials past their expirations multiple times. Many subscribers had never paid for the service as long as it existed up through July 1. One analyst estimated that 62% of Apple TV Plus accounts were freeloading with some sort of promotion.
Apple TV Plus Cost: Here’s The Price Of The Service
Apple TV Plus costs just $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 per month and, if you buy an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or AppleTV, you’ll get a year’s subscription for free.
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If You Could Only Pick One Which Streaming Service Would You Choose
Apple has always kept user numbers close to the chest, so its difficult to tell just how successful Apple TV Plus has been with everyday users. Complicating matters further, some current Apple TV Plus subscribers are still on their free year. This means that subscriber numbers could tank as those free trials expire.
Having said that, Apple TV Plus was the fastest-growing streamer in late 2021, according to Antenna.
In May of 2020, we asked our own readers at Android Authority which streaming service they would pick if they could only pick one, and Apple TV Plus captured less than 1% of the vote. Most users commented that the library was simply too small, although it might fare better as a second or third subscription for those who cant get enough content.
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There are, of course, other ways to gauge interest in the service. One is Google Trends, which tracks search volume for certain keywords. Apple TV Plus spiked when it was first announced, then again when the service launched. Its done nothing but stagnate since then, even in the face of a global pandemic when everyone is at home streaming media.
Compared to another service that launched around the same time Disney Plus Apple TV Plus is barely a blip on the radar. Its failed to grab public attention, either due to a lack of compelling material on the platform or a lack of a big marketing push from Apple.