Image Source: Sportico
Major League Soccer announced a 10-year media rights deal with Apple on Tuesday, anchored by a single digital hub for all MLS, Leagues Cup, and MLS Next Pro matches, fueled by the belief that its fan base is younger, more global, and more technologically savvy than that of more traditional pro sports leagues.
In what has been hailed as a “historic” day for the league, Major League Soccer (MLS) signed a 10-year contract with Apple to stream every US top-flight men’s game internationally.
Beginning in 2023, fans can watch every MLS, Leagues Cup, MLS NEXT Pro, and MLS NEXT match on 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, a technological powerhouse, responded.
According to a statement announcing the partnership, Apple TV members will be able to watch a limited number of matches for free, while MLS season ticket holders will have free access to the league’s streaming service.
MLS is personalizing the service to its international audience by providing all matches in English and Spanish. French coverage will be available for games involving Canadian teams. The message went on to say that plans are being made to produce all coverage in Portuguese.
According to MLS deputy commissioner and president Gary Stevenson, the new service will affect the league’s calendar, with midweek games being played on Wednesday nights and weekend games being played on Saturday nights to provide regularity for fans.
In a statement, Apple’s senior vice president of Services, Eddy Cue, said, “For the first time in sports history, fans will be able to access everything from a major professional sports league in one spot.” “For MLS fans, soccer lovers, and anyone else who enjoys sports, it’s a dream come true.”
Important highlights of the Apple-MLS deal
The MLS will be able to arrange matches at more regular and predictable periods thanks to the dedicated digital platform. According to Garber, the 2022 season will have 60 different kickoff times. In addition, from next season, MLS will play as many games on Saturday nights as possible, with a few midweek games on Wednesdays thrown in for good measure.
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