MLS selects Apple for a 10-year deal for its exclusive worldwide media rights

MLS has sold all of its global media rights exclusively to Apple, and it has become the first major sports league in the U.S. with a digital media company. MLS is still trading with online TV, including ESPN and Fox. However, these games would not be exclusive to broadcasters; They would give it along with Apple. MLS officials said Apple does not pay a direct fee for the rights package. In contrast, Apple pays a minimum guarantee that sources are worth $ 250 million a year from the 23rd. MLS will start earning more revenue as Apple sells its newly launched MLS subscription offerings. “It’s different here for media companies to pay royalties and sell ads,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “This is a partnership. And the core of this partnership is a subscription business that we will build together, and we will get a guarantee against the revenue that will be earned in the subscription business. Then we go beyond that, we can make more money, and that’s really special in sports media. “

Pictured (l to r): MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Apple CEO Tim Cook and NY Senior Apple VP / Services Eddy Cue NYApple Inc.

SIGNAL IN SPORT MAY CHANGE: The agreement represents a major change in the sports media, as leagues and congresses have spent most of a decade trying to persuade digital deep-pocket companies like Apple to invest more in sports content. Apple, which recently struck a deal with MLB, has been involved in a number of debates in recent years, but this is the biggest move it has made so far in sports. “There’s never been a league where there’s only one place to watch every game,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP / Services. Apple’s MLS agreement terms will be available for free on AppleTV. Apple’s streaming service, AppleTV +, will also have a more significant number of games. The main component of this agreement, however, is a subscription service that will keep all MLS games off.

PACKAGES ARE EACH GAME: The unnamed streaming service will be part of the Apple TV application and will include all games, including those previously included on ESPN, Fox and Univision’s national TV packages and broadcast locally under individual club agreements. The newly expanded League Cup, which includes all MLS and League MX clubs, will also be included in the service, as well as MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT matches. MLS and Apple officials have said they have not yet developed a price point for the service, but all MLS subscribers will have access to the package at no additional cost. MLS will produce all of its games, Garber said, will require “significant” investment, but will ensure consistency across the league and enable more technological innovation.

The unnamed streaming service within the Apple TV app will include all games, including those included in national TV packages.Gary Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports

APPLE PRESENTATION: MLS has planted the seeds of this general agreement in recent years to ensure that each of its teams has their local broadcasting agreements expired at the end of the ’22 season. The fact that MLS could offer all of its games without any geographic restrictions or restrictions was particularly appealing to Apple, Cue said. Another attraction for Apple: MLS reports on its young, tech-savvy fans. Survey data show that the average MLS fan is 39.6 years old and that Generation Z and Millennials are 58% of its fans. Apple’s MLS deal will begin next season, coinciding with the restructuring of the MLS calendar, which will be played on most Saturday nights in most regular season games. Having a few games with graded home hours on Saturday nights will allow the league to offer a show similar to the NFL Red Zone through its new streaming service and Apple TV +. There will still be some midweek games, especially on Wednesday nights. Some games could be played at other times based on stadium conflicts or linear television programming.

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