MLS, Apple Unveil Pricing for Comprehensive Streaming Service

MLS Season Pass, the subscription service from Major League Soccer and Apple debuting this February, will cost fans $99 for the season or $15 monthly, the companies announced Wednesday. Existing Apple TV+ subscribers will be eligible for a discounted rate: $79 for the season or $13 a month.

The product comes after Apple made its biggest sports splash to date, signing a 10-year deal worth at least $250 million annually with MLS to air every game on its platforms internationally. Starting this season, the league will produce English and Spanish broadcasts for its games (with French commentary available for Canadian teams).

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“We could not be more excited to bring our fans MLS Season Pass, a new home for all MLS matches and a wide variety of league and club content they can’t get anywhere else,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.

Fans will be able to watch games through the Apple TV app on myriad devices, as well as online at tv.apple.com. In addition to match broadcasts, MLS Season Pass will include a whiparound show tracking the action as well as previews, replays and analysis. Along with the change in distribution, MLS is updating its schedule to put an emphasis on Saturday and Wednesday evenings. A number of matches, including the entire opening weekend in February, will also be available for free in the app.

“We’re counting down the days to February 2023 when fans everywhere can enjoy MLS Season Pass on billions of devices—all with no blackouts,” Apple SVP of services Eddy Cue said in a statement.

The partnership is a bet on the future of sports consumption, putting thousands of local and out-of-market broadcasts in a single service, but also tying it to a monthly subscription and a partner’s set of platforms. MLS is also putting an Apple TV patch on all 29 of its clubs’ jerseys, while the tech giant will be able to promote MLS content—and the sport of soccer—via its other apps, such as Apple News and Podcasts. Earlier this week, for instance, Apple announced it would be launching a World Cup podcast hosted by Ted Lasso star Brendan Hunt and NBC Sports’ Rebecca Lowe.

This year, Apple has listed openings for dozens of sports-related jobs, ranging from “Senior Sports Writer” to “Coordinating Producer,” as it builds out a live programming department. It has also listed positions focused on sponsorships and revenue amid reports that the company is expanding its advertising offerings, including a focus on its MLS broadcasts.

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