Apple enters pay-TV sports market

Just in Brazil so far, but the news will be greeted warily by existing pay-TV companies such as Britain’s BSkyB and warmly by the world’s bigger football clubs.

imagesApple TV, hitherto a set-top box business (albeit one boasting a $1bn turnover mainly in the US) is launching its first local TV channel in Brazil via a tie-up with local operator Esporte Interativo Plus.

The new channel’s programmes will include UEFA Champion’s League matches and other games featuring the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Milan as well as Olympic events and others.

Apple TV has been available in Brazil for two years but programming has been mostly confined YouTube and Netflix. Sport, especially football, is where the money is in pay-TV and Apple, with an estimated $70bn stashed away in countries outside the US, is more than capable of taking on the giants of the pay-TV industry globally if it chooses.

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