Apple TV apps on Apple TV hardware, streaming sticks, smart televisions, game consoles, and more will have access to the new soccer games with every game shown live. There will be no blackouts either, removing one of the barriers that have historically made watching live sports so difficult in the United States.
From early 2023 through 2032, fans can get every live MLS match by subscribing to a new MLS streaming service, available exclusively through the Apple TV app. In addition to all of the match content, the service will provide fans a new weekly live match whip-around show so they never miss an exciting goal or save, and also game replays, highlights, analysis, and other original programming. This live and on-demand MLS content will provide in-depth, behind-the-scenes views of the players and clubs that fans love. A broad selection of MLS and Leagues Cup matches, including some of the biggest matchups, will also be available at no additional cost to Apple TV+ subscribers, with a limited number of matches available for free. As an added benefit to fans, access to the new MLS streaming service will be included as part of MLS full-season ticket packages.
Sports Business Journal suggests that Apple will pay MLS $250 million per year for access to the content, with subscription revenue being shared between the two. The MLS will also reportedly still be able to offer its games to local TV stations, despite Apple’s use of the word “exclusive” in its announcement press release.
It isn’t immediately clear why Apple didn’t decide to roll the MLS games into Apple TV+ as it has done with Friday Night Baseball, but it seems likely to be a case of finance — the MLS content is simply too costly for Apple to be able to offer it at the same $4.99 per month subscription it charges for the rest of Apple TV+.