They are not claiming massive losses. Last year there was a comment that they lost "tens of millions" of dollars on their $1.5 billion investment but overall most of the claims of huge losses come from outside observers. And (as noted) overall DIRECTV performed well so any recent losses were more than covered by money given by NFL ST subscribers for their other programming. Hopefully the $1.5 billion in lower expenses won't be matched by more than $1.5 billion in lost revenue after NFL ST leaves next year.It is kind of weird that AT&T would be giving it away to so many subscribers and yet claim massive losses.
Only if commercial service is profitable.And if Apple does not have a commercial option they are just leaving money on the table. It is just money sitting there for the taking.
A viable commercial service requires businesses willing to invest in paying for the subscriptions. The first year those businesses will also need to pay to upgrade their systems to whatever Apple provides (if commercial service is offered). Delivered via DIRECTV satellite like ESPN+ would be the least expensive for existing commercial subscribers and would be the most likely path to maintaining those subscribers. Requiring new equipment and modifications to their distribution systems may convince businesses to leave. I believe a lot of places will be focusing on the locally aired games and NFL Red Zone more than "every game" if Apple makes it too difficult or expensive to display the games.
I expect Apple will do well in the residential market.