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Apple lines up subscription service to carry US Major League Soccer matches

Tech giant Apple is doubling down on live sport by launching a global subscription service to carry all US Major League Soccer (MLS) games.

Eddy Cue

Football fans from more than 100 countries with an MLS Season Pass subscription will be able to watch the games, with matches streamed through the Apple TV app on phones, smart TVs and games consoles.

Apple landed the MLS rights this summer for a reported US$2.5bn, following a deal in March to stream live Friday night games from Major League Baseball. Rival streamer Amazon previously paid in the region of US$1bn for rights to stream live Thursday night games from the US National Football League.

Streamers moving into sports rights have long been seen as a threat to established pay TV sports specialists such as Sky, which carries live English Premier League games in the UK, and Canal+, which owns the rights to the UEFA Champions League in France.

The 10-year partnership between Apple and MLS launches on February 1, 2023, when the MLS Season Pass will be made available for US$14.99 a month or US$99 per season.

“There isn’t a more perfect time to introduce MLS Season Pass, as the MLS is the fastest growing soccer league in the world,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP of services. “Fans everywhere can enjoy MLS Season Pass on billions of devices – all with no blackouts.”

The new MLS season kicks off on February 25, with any new subscribers able to stream a city derby clash between Los Angeles FC and the LA Galaxy, among other fixtures.

In recent years, many established European and Latin America football players have signed for clubs in the MLS. Welsh winger Gareth Bale plays for Los Angeles FC, while David Beckham is the president of Inter Miami CF.

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