Apple Music will sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show in February, replacing longtime sponsor Pepsi. In a press releaseThe NFL says more than 120 million people watched the Super Bowl LVI halftime show in February this year, which featured performances by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar. The New York Times reports that the NFL had bought the sponsorship deal at around $50 million, although the exact terms of the final deal were not made public.
The deal comes as Apple and other streaming service providers are increasingly looking to sports as a source of growth. Apple has already signed deals to broadcast Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer games on Apple TV Plus, while rival Amazon has signed a deal with the NFL to broadcast Thursday Night Football.
Live sports, and American Football in particular, are considered one of TV’s biggest draws. Sports Business Journal reports that 95 of the top 100 most-watched programs of 2021 were sports broadcasts, and 75 of those were NFL games.
— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) September 23, 2022
In addition to agreeing to sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show, Apple is also reportedly in talks with the NFL for the rights to a Sunday package of football games, according to the report. NYT. The league has apparently held talks with Google, Amazon and ESPN to air the games, but discussions with Apple are believed to be well advanced. The NFL is reportedly asking $2.5 billion for the package, a sharp increase from the roughly $1.5 billion worth of the current NFL Sunday Ticket deal with DirecTV.
Apple rarely sponsors events outside of its control, although it has happened in the past. In 2016, the company sponsored the Met Gala when it attempted to promote the Apple Watch as a fashion accessory. Pepsi had been the sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show since 2013, when it launched a ten-year sponsorship of the show. The NFL’s press release claims the annual halftime show is “the most-watched musical performance of the year.” Although with only 120 million viewers this year, the viewership was dwarfed by the 161 million people around the world who watched the Eurovision Song Contest in May.
Super Bowl LVII is scheduled for February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona. Expect plenty of “exclusive details and sneak peeks” about the show to be announced over the coming months via Apple Music’s social channels on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.