Apple today said it is bringing live sports to the new Apple TV 4K, though the details aren’t quite clear yet as to how it’s going to play out.
The new Apple TV 4K has a dedicated sports tab that has every live and upcoming game, and as seasons change so will the sports tab. There will be scores, and the new TV app is available on the iPhone and iPad. The announcement came as Apple said it’s bringing 4K and HDR content to the Apple TV. The company announced the new features and set-top box at its iPhone event this morning.
Again, the details aren’t 100 percent clear, such as whether this is a kind of integration with existing services like ESPN or if it’s an entirely independent move. Sports are definitely going to be a big selling point for any over-the-top device, especially as all these companies are trying to unbundle content and pick away at cable’s dominance. There are plenty of options, like Hulu, PlayStation Vue and others. But ensuring that Apple can have some slice of that universe will help the Apple 4K TV gain additional adoption.
This is going to be a big selling point as Apple continues to ramp up its ecosystem of services. As it starts to grow those services and get more Apple devices out there, that can create a virtuous cycle and lock more and more people into the Apple ecosystem. That means more usage of iPhones, AirPods, HomePods, iPads and any new products that Apple starts rolling out.
Live sports, of course, isn’t the only part of the equation. The company will have to continue building out its content ecosystem, as well as live events like sports, if it’s going to go up against install base consoles like the PlayStation 4 and companies like Roku and Google.
The new Apple TV 4K starts at $179, and you can order it on September 15th. The Apple TV 4K will ship on September 22nd. Be sure to check out full coverage of the iPhone event on our live blog.