Apple Launches New ‘Sports’ App For Scores And Stats

Apple Sports app

Apple today introduced a new ‘Sports’ app, aiming to put scores and stats front and centre. It is available for free in the US, UK and Canada. The product joins the suite of other native Apple media apps such as News, Music and TV.

I’ve downloaded the app and it is really easy to set up. Pick some leagues you are interested in and some teams in those leagues. At first glance, it appears to be a simplified version of services such as LiveScore, but covers more sports. However, it is also pretty basic. To get any further content about a team you follow you will have to head back to News (or a rival product).

The simplicity seems to be the intention. Commenting, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services, explained:

We created Apple Sports to give sports fans what they want — an app that delivers incredibly fast access to scores and stats. Apple Sports is available for free in the App Store, and makes it easy for users to stay up to date with their favorite teams and leagues.

If you just want to quickly see the score, fire it up. For everything else, go elsewhere.

The “upcoming” feature is not as clear as it should be either. It took me a minute to realise you have to tap the first fixture of the day to get the rest of them to drop down. My guess is that this was a way to keep things looking slick and Apple-like.

There is also no longer-term calendar functionality, which is frustrating. You can see your teams next fixture, but not who they are playing next week.

Reasons to Launch Apple Sports

So why has Cupertino launched Apple Sports? There are no adverts in it generating revenue, which many similar products have. One reason might be that it is trying to associate itself more with the biggest leagues in the world, so there is a more coherent offer, including the rights its bought for TV+. As M.G. Siegler noted, the seemingly random release occurred just ahead the latest MLS season, for which Apple is the exclusive worldwide rightsholder, kicking off.

Siegler also noted something else significant. Despite the simplicity of the app, betting odds are included. Sports gambling is becoming increasingly legalised and popular in the US. Is Apple going to provide a vehicle for placing a bet? You’ll get short odds on that being an option in the future.

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