Image Source: Sportico
Major League Soccer announced a 10-year media rights deal with Apple on Tuesday, based on the belief that its fan base is younger, more global, and more technologically savvy than that of more traditional pro sports leagues. The deal will be anchored by a single digital hub for all MLS, Leagues Cup, and MLS Next Pro matches.
In what has been dubbed a “historic” day for the league, Major League Soccer (MLS) signed a 10-year contract with Apple to webcast every US top-flight men’s game worldwide.
Beginning in 2023, viewers will be able to watch every MLS, Leagues Cup, MLS NEXT Pro, and MLS NEXT match via the men’s professional soccer league’s streaming network, which will be accessible via Apple TV.
When CNN inquired about the deal’s value, neither the MLS nor Apple, the electronics behemoth, responded.
According to a statement announcing the partnership, Apple TV customers will be able to watch a limited number of the matches for free, while MLS season ticket holders will have free access to the league’s streaming service.
By producing all matches in English and Spanish, MLS caters to an international audience.
Games involving Canadian teams will also be broadcast in French. According to the statement, plans are also in the works to create complete coverage in Portuguese.
In order to provide dependability for fans, the new service will affect the league’s calendar, with midweek games slated for Wednesday nights and weekend games set for Saturday nights, according to MLS deputy commissioner and president Gary Stevenson.
In a statement, Apple’s senior vice president of Services, Eddy Cue, stated, “For the first time in the history of sports, fans will be able to access everything from a major professional sports league in one spot.” “For MLS fans, soccer lovers, and everybody who loves sports, it’s a dream come true.”
Apple-MLS: Some of the deal’s highlights:
— With the dedicated internet platform, Major League Soccer will be able to schedule matches at more consistent and predictable times. According to Garber, the 2022 season will have 60 different start times. In addition, from next season, MLS will play as many games on Saturday nights as possible, with infrequent mid-week games on Wednesdays.