Apple continues push into live sports with Major League Soccer deal

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  • Apple on Tuesday announced a 10-year deal with Major League Soccer to broadcast MLS matches on its streaming service, TV+.
  • Apple has been ramping up its sports streaming offerings, and this year began airing Major League Baseball games.

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apple on tuesday announced A 10-year deal with Major League Soccer to broadcast matches on its streaming service is the latest sign of the iPhone maker’s increased investment in exclusive content for Apple TV+.

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Apple said Tuesday that the deal would make Apple’s app the only service where fans can watch all MLS matches without blackouts. While select matches will be available to Apple TV+ subscribers who pay $4.99 per month, fans will have to purchase a separate MLS subscription to watch all matches. The cost of the service, which will be available globally, and the time of its release were not disclosed.

Since launching Apple TV+ in 2019 and jumping into the heated streaming wars, Apple has been building up a portfolio of original shows and movies. It’s getting more aggressive with games. This season, the company began broadcasting Major League Baseball games on Friday nights.

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Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber said in a press conference Tuesday that the deal with Apple will help the league appeal to younger consumers.

“This is what they asked for,” Garber said. “And we’re going to deliver them every match anywhere, anytime, anywhere around the world without any restrictions.”

Apple has taken a streaming quality-over-quantity approach. Its service doesn’t have an extensive back catalog that can compete with Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Disney+, and the company hasn’t announced viewership figures or total subscribers.

But Apple has garnered a number of critical hits, including “Ted Lasso,” a comedy about a silly American football coach in England who was previously a college football coach in the US.

“We’re going to take everything that Apple is really good at — the experience, the style, the approach we take to make great products — for it,” Apple’s senior vice president of services Eddie Cue told Tuesday’s event. said in. ,

Live sports are so popular that streaming services are raising the cost of content that has traditionally been the domain of pay TV. For example, Amazon broadcasts some NFL games on Prime Video in packages of $1 billion per year.

MLS deputy commissioner Gary Stevenson said the league is taking advantage of “the biggest change in the way sports media will be distributed since the advent of cable television”, referring to the proliferation of cord-cutting and streaming services. Is.

– CNBC’s Jessica Golden

watch: Watch the full interview with Peter Chernin

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