Apple And MLS Sign Ten Year Deal
Apple has signed a long-term broadcast deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) through to 2032.
The deal will see the league bring in around US$250 million (AUD$345 million) each year and will start next season, with Apple TV subscribers able to watch live games, highlights shows, analysis and more.
MLS commissioner, Don Garber, told the PA news agency he’s delighted with the financial details of the deal and wants to showcase the league’s talent pool and allow teams based in America to compete for players around the world transforming it into one of the best leagues in the world.
“This [partnership] sort of seems like a bit of the icing on the cake,” Garber said.
“We really have been very focused on building a league that we all can be proud of, that could become one of the top leagues in the world, that could show fans here and globally that America, North America, are soccer markets.
“And now with a global opportunity to build a fanbase with the leader in global product and global technology and global innovation, it’s going to allow us to expand beyond our borders.
“This gives us the ability to participate not only in the global market for players but on the global market for fans, and that any game, anytime, anywhere without restrictions really is the rocket fuel that’s going to get us to that point.
“So, it is the perfect sort of end to the previous beginning and gives us a new sort of journey towards the World Cup and beyond.
“Very pleased with the financials of a deal that, among other things, will allow for an improved schedule, better quality broadcasts, and see season ticket holders at the clubs receive a subscription,” he said.
The deal is the latest for Apple, which acquired partial rights to broadcast Major League Baseball (MLB) games at the start of the year.
The technology giant is also promising to offer non-subscribers a chance to watch a limited number of games on its platform for free but nothing concrete has been finalised yet.
Both parties have been discussing their desire to grow the MLS’ status and level globally with Apple promising high-quality dedication and world-class Apple broadcast style.
Apple senior vice president of services, Eddy Cue, said: “Look, it’s a huge moment for sports [and] it’s a dream come true for fans.”
“It’s truly the first time ever that fans can access everything, every game from a major professional sports league in one place, there [are] no blackouts, no restrictions.
“It’s going to be incredibly fun.
“We’re excited about the viewing experience we can bring, I can guarantee you it’s going to reflect Apple’s style of dedication that we have to great customer experience, so we’re excited to share more of that as details come about.
“We’re also committed to growing the sport of soccer with MLS.
“It’s already the fastest growing sport in North America and we’re really excited about having people fall in love with MLS, rooting for their favourite club.
“When you look, it’s only going to get bigger: the World Cup is coming to the US, Canada and Mexico in 2026,” Cue said.