Apple will offer streams of every Major League Soccer (MLS) game on the Apple TV app from early 2023 to 2032, the two organizations announced in a major deal unveiled Tuesday. While some games are still aired on linear TV networks like ESPN and Fox, this gives Apple the exclusive offer for an NFL Sunday Ticket-style offering for the league.
To watch the matches, fans can subscribe to a new, currently unnamed MLS streaming service which will be available “exclusively through the Apple TV app”, according to Apple’s press release† A “wide selection” of MLS and Leagues Cup matches will be available to Apple TV Plus subscribers, “with a limited number of free matches.” If you are a full-season ticket holder, you also get access to the new streaming service. Unlike many sports streaming offerings, there are no local blackouts or restrictions.
Apple and the MLS haven’t specified when you can sign up for the service or how much it could cost, but say that information will be announced in “the coming months.” Apple will pay a minimum of $250 million a year to the MLS for the games starting in 2023, Sports Business Journal reports†
The MLS partnership is a huge step up from Apple’s relatively small offering of Major League Baseball games on Friday and seems to indicate that live sports could be a priority for its future service plans. Rumor has it that Apple is competing for the real NFL Sunday Ticket having rumors at the same time linked Netflix to an offer for the rights to Formula 1† Other streamers with live sports offerings (outside of Disney/ESPN Plus) include Amazon and the NFL, HBO Max with the NHL and football, and Peacock’s various football offerings.