Apple (AAPL) plans to bolster its Apple TV+ streaming service with live sporting offerings. Citing The Information, Reuters reports that the iPhone maker is in early talks with the U.S. National Football League (NFL) as it looks to secure streaming rights for the league.
Apple is looking to make Apple TV+ home for NFL Sunday Ticket games. Currently, AT&T’s (T) DirecTV is the exclusive rights holder and reportedly pays $1.5 billion annually to broadcast the games.
According to Reuters, the NFL will likely consider a substantial price increase for any new arrangement. Apple and the NFL are yet to confirm or deny whether they are in talks. (See Apple stock charts on TipRanks)
In March, the NFL inked long-term media deals with Amazon (AMZN), Walt Disney’s (DIS) ESPN, ABC networks, ViacomCBS (VIAC), and Fox Corp (FOXA). Amazon is currently the exclusive partner for Thursday Night Football games. Apple’s latest push affirms its plans to strengthen its streaming services in a bid to attract more subscribers with live sports offerings.
JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee recently reiterated a Buy rating on Apple but raised his price target to $170 from $165, implying 17.15% upside potential to current levels. Chatterjee noted that the stock has underperformed despite a strong volume outlook for the iPhone 12 series.
“The upside pressure on volumes for the iPhone 12 series, historical outperformance in the July-September time period heading into launch event, and further catalysts in relation to outperformance for iPhone 13 volumes relative to lowered investor expectations implies a very attractive set up for the shares in the second half of the year and thus expect AAPL shares to outperform the broader market materially in 2H21,” the analyst said.
Consensus among analysts is a Moderate Buy based on 20 Buys, 5 Holds, and 2 Sells. The average Apple price target of $158.27 implies 9.07% upside potential to current levels.
According to TipRanks’ Hedge Fund Trading Activity tool, confidence in AAPL is currently Neutral. The cumulative change in holdings across all 36 funds that were active in the last quarter was a decrease of 376.1K shares.