Technology heavyweights, Apple, are set to join the billion pound bidding war for Premier League rights when they go on sale at the end of the season (May, 2012).

It has been reported in the Daily Mail, that Apple are entering the race for one of the prize possesions of UK television, as part of their strategy to raise the profile and desirability of Apple TV.

Apple certainly won't be alone in it's bid for English football rights as Sky and ESPN will be looking to renew and cement their places as the top two live football broadcasters in the country. It has also been rumoured that the weathly Middle Eastern network Al Jezeera is also looking to force it's way into the already crowded market.

It is not yet fully known how Apple will broadcast the live Premier League action, but considering that Apple TV already offer App based streaming of all the major American sports - except the NFL - it would be fair to expect them to follow suit with football, should they win the rights.

It won't be cheap

The current deal is worth a reported £1.71bn running from August 2010 to May 2013. Sky are said to have paid £1.31bn for the lion's share of the fixers, while Setanta originally made up the remaing £392m for the rights to broadcast lower ranked fixtures - however ESPN bought out Setanta's rights after the Irish broadcaster failed to maintain payments to the Premier League.