Feb 21, 2024 - Technology

Apple launches sports app for scores and stats

apple sports

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Apple on Wednesday unveiled a new, free Apple Sports app.

Why it matters: Consumers already have access to a slew of sports data and scores online, "but not in a single place and not that easy to use," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of services.

  • Users can download Apple Sports in Apple's App Store.
  • The app, for now, is only available in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada.

Details: The personalized app is designed to show current scores and stats for teams and leagues users care about most.

  • The app allows users to click into any game in real-time to access all sorts of information, including real-time betting data from DraftKings, if they want it. (DraftKings isn't an official partner. Apple's just using its data. Users can turn off betting data if they wish.)

For teams marked as favorites, Apple will send live activity updates to users' lock screens so that they can check scores without opening their phone.

  • The app will allow users to seamlessly click into Apple TV+ if they are MLS Season Pass subscribers and wish to watch live soccer games, for which Apple has the rights.
  • The app can also guide users to more information about their favorite teams via Apple News.

Between the lines: Most major leagues that are currently in season are available to follow on the app including MLS, NBA, NCAA basketball (men's and women's), NHL, Bundesliga, LaLiga, Liga MX, Ligue 1, Premier League and Serie A.

  • More leagues, including MLB, NFL, college football and other global leagues, will be added when their respective seasons begin.
  • Cue said the company is also hoping to eventually add more non-team, lifestyle sports, like golf and tennis.

Be smart: The app isn't coming pre-installed on Apple devices, for now, in part because making it available on the App Store allows Apple to make changes faster, Cue said. Major operating system updates only happen a couple of times per year.

  • The company also doesn't have plans to monetize the app directly via advertising or sports betting. For now, it's something the firm hopes will serve Apple device users broadly.
  • "We're trying to do things that are great for the fan," Cue said.

The big picture: Apple Sports is part of a broader foray by the company into sports coverage.

  • Apple struck a 10-year exclusive rights deal to distribute Major League Soccer matches to paid subscribers last year and is heading into its third season streaming MLB games on Friday nights. It's invested more in adding sports shows and documentaries to its subscription streaming service, Apple TV+.
  • The company added The Athletic, a sports journalism company owned by The New York Times, to its Apple News+ subscription product late last year.
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