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Apple Drops the Answer to an ESPN Bombshell

The legendary journalist Jimmy Cannon once said “a rabid sports fan is one that boos a TV set.”

Bear in mind that this was long before the internet, streaming TV, smart phones and all the other techie things that sports fans have available to them today.

Sports fans are plentiful in these United States and many of them are proudly rabid. They also tend to love statistics, so with that in mind…

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Seventy percent of Americans say they are sports fans, according to a survey conducted earlier this year by the Siena College Research Institute and St. Bonaventure University’s Jandoli School of Communication.

Of these, 21% describe themselves as “avid”–meaning they watch sports, sports news, talk about sports, check scores and, in many cases, play fantasy sports almost every single day. 

Apple Steps Up

Another 26% were “Involved” fans who engage with sports at least several times weekly.

Football is America’s favorite sport to watch and follow and has been since 1972, back when Richard Nixon was president, gas was 36 cents a gallon and the Miami Dolphins won the Super Bowl.

In 2021, roughly, 57.5 million viewers in the United States watched digital live sports content at least once per month, a number that is projected to rise to over 90 million by 2025, according to Statista, a market and consumer data platform.

Now Apple  (AAPL) – Get Free Report is stepping up to the plate by releasing  iOS 16.5, iPadOS 16.5 and macOS 13.4 updates that all have an Apple News section dedicated to sports.

There are score and schedule cards in News that jump directly to pages for particular games.

“My Sports enables you to easily follow your favorite teams and leagues and watch highlights right in the News app,” the computer giant said.

Changing Times 

And Apple TV 4K users get a Multiview feature that shows up to four sports streams at once in the TV app, Engadget reported, which includes Friday Night Baseball games as well as MLS Season Pass matches.

Both iOS 16.5 and watchOS 9.5 respectively add Pride wallpaper and watch face options.

Apple’s play comes at a time when ESPN is showing signs that it’s committing to a direct-to-consumer service

The sports channel and its parent company, Disney  (DIS) – Get Free Report are now reportedly beginning the shift with a project that has the internal code name “Flagship,”

ESPN’s move could have major implications for the already declining cable television industry. ESPN and its channels have been one of the main drivers of the cable bundle. 

No timeline has been given for when the shift will officially begin. The company will also reportedly continue to offer its TV channel.

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