OPINION: Apple Gets Major League Soccer Rights
Why this isn't bad for viewers and really good for sports on TV
Tuesday Apple and Major League Soccer (MLS) announced a partnership starting early 2023 and lasting until 2032.
The short version is that the Apple TV app will be the place to access all MLS games wiorldwide with no blackouts and no need to have cable or some other pay TV bundle.
The includes the MLS, Leagues Cup, and select MLS NEXT Pro (minor league) and MLS NEXT (youth soccer) matches.
You won’t have to pay to watch games but you won’t get all of them.
FOR FREE - You can watch a limited number of matches. All you need is the app and the interent.
For Apple TV+ - If you already pay $4.99 a month for Apple TV+ you’ll get a “broad selection” of MLS and League Cup matches.
With an MLS subscription - You get all matches plus whip-around show to highlight goals and saves, original programming, highlights and analysis. You do not need to pay for Apple TV+ to get this. Aplpe has not annocuned how much this will cost. This subscription will also be incldued in MLS season ticket packages.
Apple will only be carryign the games. MLS will produce the coverage. Each game will only have one set of annoucners, so no more home and away broadcasts.
However the Wall Street Journal reported that with Apple’s blessing, MLS will also strike deals to simulcast a limited number of matches on linear TV. So peopel who don’t want to sue the Apple TV app willl still be able to see some games.
The Apple TV app is available on all the Apple devices, of course but also on 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. Any device with a browser can use tv.apple.com.