There will be no regional blackouts, but each match will require a different subscription.
Following the launch of Friday Night Baseball, Apple is expanding its live sports streaming offerings. For the next decade, Apple TV will be the only spot to watch every Major League Soccer game starting in 2023. The Apple TV app will let soccer fans all over the world to watch all of the league’s games. There will be no limits or regional blackouts, for example.
The 10-year deal also includes select MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT games, as well as Leagues Cup matchups (though viewers in Mexico will have to watch those and Campeones Cup matches elsewhere). The rights to MLS games are currently held by ESPN, Fox Sports, and Univision, but their contracts will expire after this season.
To watch every game, fans will need to subscribe to a new MLS streaming service, which will only be available through the Apple TV app. Full-season ticket packages for Major League Soccer will include access. Apple also claims that TV+ members will have free access to a “large selection” of MLS and League Cup matches. Some of the games will be free to play.
In addition to live games, the MLS streaming service will offer replays, highlights, commentary, and a weekly whip-around show featuring goals and other critical moments. There will also be original programming. All MLS and Leagues Cup games will include English and Spanish broadcasters, as well as French announcers for games involving Canadian teams.
Apple News will provide fans with news about Major League Soccer and their favourite teams, as well as highlights. You’ll be able to watch games on the streaming service’s website as well as on the Apple TV app, which is available on a range of platforms and devices. In the coming months, further information, including cost, will be released.
“Fans will be able to access everything from a major professional sports league in one place for the first time in sports history,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of services, said in a statement. “For MLS fans, soccer lovers, and everybody who enjoys sports, it’s a dream come true.”
There’s no confusion, no frustration — just the freedom to sign up for one simple subscription that offers you access to everything MLS, wherever and whenever you want to watch it.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the firm will pay MLS at least $250 million per year. MLS will earn more revenue once the minimum guarantee is met through subscriptions. According to Sports Business Journal, some games may air on linear TV networks as well, although those events will still be available on the Apple/MLS service.
Apple’s foray into sports could go beyond baseball and soccer. The NFL has long been speculated to be interested in partnering with the startup.