Apple may spend billions on theatrical movies, Premier League: reports
By Mike Murphy
Bloomberg reports tech giant wants to shake up its movie strategy
Apple Inc. is planning to spend $1 billion a year on movies that will be shown in theaters, according to a new report, as part of a bid to boost subscribers for its streaming service and become a bigger player in Hollywood.
Bloomberg News reported Thursday that Apple (AAPL) plans to significantly boost its spending on movies, and is approaching movie studios for theatrical distribution deals. Apple has an impressive movie business, and won an Oscar for best picture in 2022 for "CODA," but has largely kept its movies streaming only, with some limited-release exceptions in order to qualify for awards or to appease its high-priced talent.
The Bloomberg report gave a boost to movie-theater stocks: AMC Entertainment (AMC), IMAX Corp. (IMAX) and Cinemark Holdings Inc. (CNK) all posted strong gains Thursday.
Upcoming Apple movies include "Killers of the Flower Moon," starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, and directed by Martin Scorsese; "Argylle," starring Henry Cavill and Bryce Dallas Howard, and directed by Matthew Vaughn; and "Napoleon," starring Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Ridley Scott.
Releasing movies in theaters would not only create a new revenue stream for Apple, but could create more pop-culture buzz when they eventually move to streaming, where many of its current, streaming-only movies have found it difficult to find a wide audience.
Bloomberg also reported that Apple may bid on rights to stream English Premier League soccer in the U.K, in a move to compete head to head with the trio of companies that hold Premier League broadcast rights through the 2024-'25 season: Amazon's (AMZN) Prime Video, Comcast's (CMCSA) Sky and BT Sport, which has a joint venture with Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD). The deal would not affect Premier League broadcast rights in the U.S., where the league streams on Comcast's Peacock. Apple TV+ currently is the home to Major League Soccer -- after a 10-year, $2.5 billion deal -- and carries Major League Baseball on Friday nights.
The Premier League wouldn't come cheap for Apple; the league's current deal for domestic broadcast rights sold for $6.3 billion.
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March 23, 2023 23:33 ET (03:33 GMT)
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