APPLE could launch an audacious bid for Premier League football rights, according to industry sources.
The Cupertino-based firm is said to be examining whether a bid for the rights could be a driving force for its long-rumoured Apple TV, which is expected in the first half of this year.
The next three seasons of the world’s most lucrative football league are set to go to tender in the second quarter, with BSkyB, ESPN and Al Jazeera all expected to bid.
The package for rights to show live games sold for a total of £2bn three years ago, with Sky paying £1.6bn and ESPN making up the rest.
Analysts say it is highly unlikely Apple would enter a bidding war with Sky to promote an untried service, even given its vast cash reserves.
Other options could see Apple bidding for the Premier League’s rights for the broadcasting of “near live” games, highlights, or rights for overseas territories.