It’s no secret at this point that Apple is becoming more interested in the sports segment, as the company has been investing and hiring related professionals to work in its TV division. 9to5Mac has now found evidence to support these rumors, including a new “SportsKit” framework for iOS and tvOS apps.
Since the first beta of iOS 15.2 was released in late October for developers, 9to5Mac found references to something called “SportsKit” in the system’s internal files. There aren’t many details about this framework yet, as it’s probably still under development, but we can tell that it’s integrated with the Apple TV app, Siri, and even home screen widgets.
The “SportsKit” home screen widget includes the ability to receive real-time updates of sports matches. Right now, Siri can already show sports scores, so Apple probably wants to expand this interaction to other parts of iOS and tvOS.
One thing to keep in mind about this API is that SportsKit is currently being developed as a private framework, meaning the feature won’t be available to every developer – which makes sense since sports-related content usually requires special deals and Apple might have to work directly with providers.
Sports on Apple TV+
Apple has been reportedly building its own sports platform to be part of the company’s Apple TV+ streaming service. A 2019 report revealed that Apple was in talks with PAC-12 to bring live sports to Apple TV+ subscribers. In 2020, the company hired the former head of Amazon Prime Video’s sports division to work on the Apple TV team.
The rumors didn’t stop there, as multiple reports earlier this year mentioned that Apple has been talking with the NFL to acquire the rights to Sunday Ticket, which would be a great addition for Apple TV+. More recently, the company hired the former president of ESPN, who will now lead the production of documentary films and unscripted series for Apple’s streaming service.
Now with the first evidence of a new sports-related framework found in iOS, it seems that Apple will finally have something new about sports to share in the coming months.