Apple

NATIONAL STORY NO. 4: MLS, Apple TV reach historic $2.3B deal – frontrowsoccer.com


In a historic deal that will change the way the American soccer public will watch Major League Soccer, Apple and MLS on June 14 announced that the Apple TV app will be the exclusive destination to watch every live MLS match in 2023.

This 10-year partnership, which reportedly will bring in $2.3 billion over the tenure of the agreement was first for a major professional sports league. The deal will allow fans around the world to watch all MLS, Leagues Cup and select MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT matches in one place — without any local broadcast blackouts, the league said.

From 2023 through 2032, fans can get every live MLS match by subscribing to a new MLS streaming service, available exclusively through the Apple TV app. The service also will provide fans a new weekly live match whip-around show so they never miss a goal or save, and also game replays, highlights, analysis and other original programming.

One major fallout of the deal was that teams won’t have their favorite or regular announcers, at least on a regular basis. Every team had their own announcers who understood the inner-workings of their club and passion of its supporters for years, if not two decades.

It will be interesting to see how that works out.

MLS games will be available at no additional cost to Apple TV+ subscribers, with a limited number of matches available for free. As an added benefit to fans, access to the new MLS streaming service will be included as part of MLS full-season ticket packages.

Matches on the Apple TV app will be available to anyone with internet access across all devices where the app can be found, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV 4K, and Apple TV HD; Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony, TCL, VIZIO, and other smart TVs; Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices; PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles; Chromecast with Google TV; and Comcast Xfinity. Fans can also watch on tv.apple.com.

“Apple is the perfect partner to further accelerate the growth of MLS and deepen the connection between our clubs and their fans,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “Given Apple’s ability to create a best-in-class user experience and to reach fans everywhere, it’ll be incredibly easy to enjoy MLS matches anywhere, whether you’re a super fan or casual viewer.”

Added Apple’s senior vice president of services Eddy Cue: “For the first time in the history of sports, fans will be able to access everything from a major professional sports league in one place. It’s a dream come true for MLS fans, soccer fans, and anyone who loves sports. No fragmentation, no frustration — just the flexibility to sign up for one convenient service that gives you everything MLS, anywhere and anytime you want to watch. We can’t wait to make it easy for even more people to fall in love with MLS and root for their favorite club.”



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