Apple has struck a massive sports streaming deal with Major League Soccer to stream every single MLS game for 10 years. Beginning in 2023, a limited number of MLS games will be made available for free via the Apple TV app. Apple will show additional games to Apple TV+ subscribers, and soccer fans will have access to every game via a new, still-unnamed MLS streaming service that will be exclusive to the Apple TV app.
Games will be streamed live and on-demand and will feature announcers speaking both English and Spanish. There will be no local broadcast blackouts, and soccer fans won't have to authenticate with a pay TV subscription to watch any of the content. “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 Apple SVP of Services Eddy Cue.
There's no word yet on how many games Apple will be making available to Apple TV+ subscribers, or how much it will charge fans willing to pay more for the new streaming service. The two parties also didn't disclose how much Apple paid for the deal, but Sports Business Journal reported Tuesday that the company committed to a minimum guarantee of $250 million per year; those payments will likely go up if the new streaming service becomes successful.
MLS is still negotiating with TV networks like ESPN and Fox for the TV rights of its games, according to Sports Business Journal.