Advanced Television

Apple TV signs sport deals

March 10, 2011

Apple TV customers in the US will be able to watch Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association games after the company confirmed deals with the sports leagues, in a sign that cable companies will face more online competition.

The NBA will offer two packages to Apple TV users. For $65 per season, customers can choose up to seven teams to watch. And for $100 per season, fans will have access to all games through Apple TV. The MLB.TV package costs $100 per season, or $120 for an enhanced version.

Users must purchase the sports packages through the leagues, not Apple. By this model, Apple will not take a 30 per cent cut of revenues, as it is doing with other content sold on devices such as the iPad through the iTunes store.

Originally launched in 2007, Apple TV failed to gain traction until a new version was unveiled in September last year. In December, Apple said it had sold 1 million of the devices, adding to speculation that US consumers were beginning to shift away from cable subscriptions and consume more traditional entertainment content online.

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