All Major League Soccer (MLS) matches will be available exclusively from the Apple TV app worldwide beginning in 2023. The historic deal runs through 2032.
The partnership is a historic first for a major professional sports league. With global rights, Apple becomes the home of MLS – or football as it is known in most of the world – in a big blow to cable TV. There will be no local blackouts or restrictions, the company emphasized.
- "For the first time in the history of sports, fans will be able to access everything from a major professional sports league in one place," said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services. "It’s a dream come true for MLS fans, soccer fans, and anyone who loves sports. No fragmentation, no frustration — just the flexibility to sign up for one convenient service that gives you everything MLS, anywhere and anytime you want to watch. We can’t wait to make it easy for even more people to fall in love with MLS and root for their favorite club."
A limited number of the biggest matches will be available to stream at no addition cost to Apple TV+ subscribers but the full package with cost extra, most likely as a channel inside the Apple TV app.
Access to the new MLS streaming service will be included as part of MLS full-season ticket packages. Announcers will be calling the action in English and Spanish, or French in all matches involving Canadian teams.
Apple had already struck a deal with Major League Baseball (MLB) to broadcast two games on Friday nights on Apple TV+ in 8 countries (with more to follow), and it is clear that Apple is serious about sports rights.
The financial terms of the agreements were not announced but reports claim that the deal is worth $250 million per year.
Apple already offers Friday Night Baseball on the Apple TV app in 8 countries
The Apple TV app
The Apple TV app is available on the Apple TV box (tvOS) and iOS devices as well as Amazon FireTV, Roku and Smart TVs from LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, TCL, Vizio and others. It is also available on Google TV, PlayStation, Xbox, and some set-top boxes.
- "Apple is the perfect partner to further accelerate the growth of MLS and deepen the connection between our clubs and their fans," said Don Garber, MLS’s commissioner. "Given Apple’s ability to create a best-in-class user experience and to reach fans everywhere, it’ll be incredibly easy to enjoy MLS matches anywhere, whether you’re a super fan or casual viewer."
No details regarding streaming quality were announced. MLS has experimented with both 1080p HDR and 4K HDR.
The deal starts in early 2023 and runs through 2032. Subscription pricing, match schedule and more details will be announced in the coming months, said Apple.