ESPN distribution deal is reportedly unlikely, despite Apple being the ideal partner

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According to the New York Post, Disney is looking for a strategic partner to aid in the expansion of ESPN distribution. Reportedly, one of the tech companies on its list is Apple. If we look at the recent report, then the evidence of discussion regarding the deal between the two companies can’t be figured out. Well, there are quite a few reasons why the two companies might not prefer to collaborate.

Possible reasons why Apple won’t grab the ESPN distribution deal

The first and foremost reason according to the report is a built-in ESPN app on iOS. Well, the idea would be attractive to Disney but it is unlikely for Apple to offer such an option for a third-party app. Previously, the Cupertino-based tech firm removed YouTube from iOS 6 back in 2012 as a pre-installed app. Secondly, ESPN currently is distributed via cable and satellite TV channels. For this reason, it is not a perfect match for the Apple TV app. According to the article, Disney wants to provide the sports network à-la-carte as early as 2025, although that deadline certainly rules out any immediate collaboration.

On the other hand, Apple is targeting the acquisition of international rights to live the sports content on its dedicated services i.e., Apple TV app and Apple TV+ streaming service. For instance, Apple and Major League Soccer signed a 10-year deal to stream all games internationally.

A look at Disney and Apple ties

Besides this, Apple and Disney have close ties with one another. Recently, at Apple’s WWDC 2023 event, Disney CEO Bob Iger took the stage to announce the arrival of Disney+ on Apple’s Vision Por headset. Moreover, Iger has also served as one of the board directors of Apple from 2011 to 2019. But right now, any particular deal related to ESPN between the two companies seems to be unlikely.

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