Revolution in American soccer (MLS), Apple becomes the platform of “soccer” in the world
All matches of Major League Soccer (MLS), the North American soccer championship, will be broadcast from 2023 and for 10 years only to subscribers of the Apple TV app, announced Tuesday, June 14 the platform, which continues its investment in the sport after baseball.
“The Apple TV app will exclusively broadcast all MLS matches live from 2023,” and until 2032, Apple wrote in a statement, noting that the offer is for subscribers “worldwide.” Apple is betting long-term on soccer as the United States, Canada and Mexico host the 2026 World Cup.
No figures were given in the press release, but according to the specialist site Sports Business Journal, Apple has agreed to pay a guaranteed minimum amount of USD 250 million per season. According to the site, MLS is still in negotiations with channels such as ESPN and Fox to broadcast some matches.
Apple is defending an offer that will “for the first time” allow fans “to access the entire professional league of a major sport in one place.” Grandstand subscribers to any of the 28 MLS franchises will be offered the full package.
Launched in 1996 with 10 franchises at the time, MLS has expanded rapidly and is able to draw spectators to the stadiums (more than 20,000 per game on average), but the few European stars it attracts are often at the end of their careers, like Italian international Giorgio Chiellini, who signed Monday for Los Angeles FC.
Soccer attracts less than 2 million viewers in the United States for the most important matches, far from the NBA (basketball), baseball (MLB) or American soccer (NFL). Apple had already invested in live sports by announcing in March the broadcast of two live MLB baseball games on Friday nights during the regular season.