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Apple TV and its millionaire business with the MLS to dominate soccer in the United States

LAFC will kick off the tournament with a duel against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

$250 million dollars a year. Worldwide streaming rights for each and every party for a decade. Commentators in English and Spanish. That’s how it is MLS Season Pass, the ambitious and innovative recipe with which Apple wants to take the football world by storm.

In his landing on television, the company dazzled with the soccer comedy “Ted Lasso” about an unconventional coach with a huge heart who played jason sudeikis. The apple giant signed a great goal with that delicious series, but now he is looking for the most difficult yet: succeed in football broadcasts.

This Saturday, February 25, the new MLS season begins and will also broadcast its first matches MLS Season Passthe ‘streaming’ offer that the American company has devised for its powerful agreement with the soccer league of the USA and Canada.

Announced in June of last year, Apple and MLS signed an agreement for the company founded by Steve Jobs can broadcast the matches of this league for 10 years throughout the planet without regional or national restrictions and without the hassle of rights by territory.

According to the specialized portal Sports Business JournalApple will spend at least $250 million dollars a year as part of this deal with MLS.

MLS Season Pass is something unique: nothing like it has ever been done in any professional league“, said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of services, in a meeting with the media last January in San José (California, USA).

We will have all the games without ‘blackouts’ (restrictions) and they can be seen all over the world“Cue explained when defending that, both for the company and for the MLS, “the long-term opportunities are enormous.”

With a succulent starter thanks to the Los Angeles derby between the LA Galaxy of Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández and Los Angeles FC (LAFC) of Carlos Velathe MLS season will begin this Saturday and fans, after several weeks of MLS Season Pass in test mode with archive content, will be able to see how Apple envisions the present and future of soccer.

The price of this service? $$14.99 per month or $99 for the entire season (Existing Apple TV+ subscribers will pay $12.99 per month and $79 for the entire year.)

As reference, a basic Netflix account with no ads costs $9.99 in the US.

For Don Garber, MLS commissioner, there wasn’t much to think about when the opportunity arose to partner with “the most forward-thinking and innovative company in history.”

We couldn’t be more excited, the best is yet to come.“, he pointed out.

With the commitment that all matches have commentators in English and Spanish (in addition to French for matches with Canadian teams)Apple has recruited almost a hundred analysts and experts to x-ray a league that grows course after course, that sighs for the hypothetical landing of Lionel Messi in the future and that he is experiencing some crucial years with the 2026 World Cup on the horizon.

Among those commentators who have signed up for this adventure is former soccer player Taylor Twellman, who thus summarized the importance of Apple’s entry into MLS and soccer: “When Apple says yes, everyone says yes”

“Apple asks itself a question with any of its projects: ‘how can we improve the consumer experience?’ The MLS fan for 26 years has been kind of apologizing for being an MLS fan but they don’t have to say sorry anymore. That was what convinced me, ”he argued.

MLS Season Pass will include all regular season matches, MLS Cup playoffs and also the Leagues Cupa new official competition in which all the MLS and Liga MX clubs will compete.

In addition, each team will have its own page in MLS Season Pass where you can post personalized content designed specifically for its fans.

The irruption of MLS Season Pass, however, will partly coexist with traditional television, which may broadcast some MLS matches following the usual rules of rights for markets, restrictions and ‘blackouts’ outside themonly a few specific meetings per day, etc.

Specifically, MLS has signed agreements for four years with FOX Sports and TelevisaUnivision in the US and with TSN & RDS in Canada.

In any case, this movement by Apple in ‘streaming’ marks a new milestone in its penetration into audiovisual entertainment, although he had already taken some important steps related to sports.

Thus, the Cupertino-based multinational began last year to broadcast MLB baseball once a week with its “Friday Night Baseball” proposal.

Besides, Apple Music became the official sponsor of the Super Bowl intermission show in 2022, taking over from Pepsi.

The specialized publication Sport Business Journal maintained that this agreement with the NFL, which began with Rihanna’s performance at the Philadelphia Eagles-Kansas City Chiefs a couple of weeks ago, is for five years and $50 million dollars annually.

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