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Apple May Bid for Premier League Soccer Rights—A HUGE Move for “iTV”

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With Apple (AAPL) scraping the ceiling of all-time highs after Goldman Sachs (GS) raised their earnings estimate, the question is whether or not anything has actually changed for the company.

According to Jon Najarian co-founder of TradeMonster.com, there are two Apple developments of note: One a return to business as usual, the other a hint at something new. First, Najarian thinks Apple is poised to report a "phenomenal" quarter on January 24th. Such results wouldn't have been news six months ago but after Apple came up light for the first time in 7 years last October an earnings beat would be more than welcome to Apple bulls.

Apple's present is going to be dominated by the usual suspects, iPods, iPads, iPhones, et al. The future, and what excites Najarian and other bulls about the stock, is the potential that Apple will extend its household "halo" into the television arena.

While Walter Isaacson wrote of Steve Jobs claiming to have "cracked" the code on integrating television with other digital content, he left it to Mac-olytes to fill in the blanks on just what that solution may look like. Recently the famously tight-lipped Apple may have uncharacteristically tipped its hand. As reported by Yahoo! Sports (YHOO), the Cupertino Goliath intends to bid for TV rights to the English Premier League or "EPL," one of the most profitable and popular soccer leagues in the world.

The mere existence of such an idea suggests Apple will be in the running for the distribution of original content, either through the existing Apple TV product or, perhaps more likely, as part of a yet to be seen iTV device. The implications of Apple owning the rights to distributing EPL to the English speaking world don't seem to be fully understood by the mainstream press. Picture Google (GOOG) owning NFL rights only with much more growth potential and it about captures the idea of Apple controlling EPL.

All of which is just conjecture. What we know for now is that Apple reports earnings on January 24th after the bell. In terms of the stock from now until then, AAPL is poised to break higher after spending much of the latter half of 2011 marking time.

With Apple now nearing all-time highs, are you loading up or hoping for a pullback? Drop us a comment in the section below.

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