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Apple launches its first sports app

On Wednesday, Apple will launch a new app.
Apple via CNN Newsource
On Wednesday, Apple will launch a new app.

By Oliver Darcy, CNN

(CNN) — Apple is taking an even bigger swing at sports.

The company on Wednesday launched Apple Sports, a free app for the iPhone that delivers real-time scores, key statistics, and live betting odds.

At launch, users will have access to live data from the NBA, NHL, and MLS, among other leagues. The app, Apple’s first in the sports arena, is being released ahead of March Madness, offering real-time data for both men’s and women’s NCAA basketball. Other leagues will be added over time, including the NFL and MLB.

“We created Apple Sports to give sports fans what they want — an app that delivers incredibly fast access to scores and stats,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services who oversees the app and was personally involved in its creation.

The app, which will not include advertising at its launch, represents Apple’s latest dive into the world of sports, a multibillion-dollar business that technology companies have made recent entrants into, challenging the legacy media companies who have traditionally held the lucrative broadcast rights. It also threatens to upend the mobile sports app space that has long been dominated by advertising-supported apps from ESPN and others.

Apple has in recent years struck deals with various sports leagues, such as the MLB and MLS, to stream games on its Apple TV+ streaming service. Amazon, a chief rival in the technology and streaming industry, has started exclusively airing “Thursday Night Football” and an NFL game on Black Friday.

While Apple Sports can alert users to where a game is being broadcast, it will not stream games directly inside the app, instead pointing users to the correct app to watch the action.

Technology and media companies are increasingly eyeing sports rights to amass a paying audience for their streaming services. In recent months, the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl shattered ratings records and NBCUniversal’s exclusive Peacock broadcast of a wild card game led to the biggest single day of streaming on record, according to Nielsen.

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Article Topic Follows: Sports

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