Tech giants Apple have made their first foray into live football streaming after securing a major long-term global partnership with Major League Soccer in America.
The world of sports broadcasting has changed a lot in recent years, with streaming platforms becoming major players in the market and viewer habits changing.
Apple has taken its biggest move yet, signing a 10-year partnership with MLS to show every game around the world – a deal the league hails as a “historic first for a major sports league.” professional”.
The deal kicks off in early 2023, and MLS commissioner Don Garber believes Apple TV will provide the catalyst for the ever-improving competition to grow even further.
“This (partnership) seems to be a bit of the icing on the cake,” the MLS commissioner told the PA news agency.
“We were really focused on building a league that we could all be proud of, that could become one of the best leagues in the world, that could show the fans here and around the world that America, America North, are football markets.
“And now, with a global opportunity to build a fanbase with the global leader in products, global technology and global innovation, it will allow us to grow beyond our borders.
“It gives us the ability to participate in not just the global gamer market, but the global fan market, and that any game, anytime, anywhere, without restrictions, is truly rocket fuel. which is going to get us to this point.
“So it’s the perfect kind of end to the previous start and gives us a new kind of journey to the World Cup and beyond.”
Garber said MLS is “very happy with the finances” of a deal which, among other things, will allow for an improved schedule, higher quality broadcasts and will see season ticket holders at clubs receive a season ticket.
This is only Apple’s second live sports rights deal having acquired a package with Major League Baseball in March, but they have achieved major football success with their comedy-drama Ted Lasso.
Apple’s senior vice president of services, Eddy Cue, believes this unique partnership is a “huge, huge opportunity for both of us to do something big.”
“Listen, this is a great time for the sport,” Cue said. “It’s a dream come true for fans. It’s truly the first time fans can access everything – every game from a major professional sports league in one place. There are no cuts power, no restrictions. It’s going to be incredibly fun.
“We’re excited about the viewing experience we can bring. I can guarantee this will reflect Apple’s style of dedication we have to great customer experience, so we’re excited to share more of that as we go along. as details arrive.
“We are also committed to developing the sport of football with MLS.
“It’s already the fastest growing sport in North America and we’re so thrilled that people are falling in love with MLS and supporting their favorite club.
“When you look, it will only get bigger: the World Cup is coming to the United States, Canada and Mexico in 2026.”
Apple’s entry into football will spark interest in competitions around the world as the company has long been linked with developments in live rights.
Cue says there’s “nothing to say beyond” the MLS deal at this time, but said the company “wants to bring the best content possible in a way that only we can do.”
Asked if Apple would make any other football deals in the future, he said: “I never say anything from that point of view, but it’s not that we’re actively trying to make and find solutions. things.
“We’re trying to find unique opportunities and I think MLS is in that position in a huge way and what we’re doing together I think is unprecedented and I’m really, really excited about what we’re going to build.”