Apple and MLS this past weekend launched the MLS Season Pass, which includes live streaming and on-demand viewing of all Major League Soccer games, as well as supporting content such as original series and a hosted live wheel-around show (dubbed “MLS 360”) ) provides highlights from all matches that took place on that day.
In addition to Season Pass members, this show is now also available to Apple TV+ subscribers…
The MLS Season Pass is $14.99 per month or $99 for the entire season. Apple TV+ subscribers get a slight discount; $12.99 per month or $79 per season. Apple TV+ subscribers can also watch a selection of games each week without needing the MLS Season Pass.
For the first week, the “MLS 360” whip show was also behind the Season Pass paywall. But after the second week, that’s no longer the case. MLS 360 (which goes live on the Apple TV app in a few hours) is streaming now for free for Season Pass and TV+ subscribers.
Presumably this move represents a strategic bet by Apple that they’ll be able to convert more TV+ viewers into Season Pass members if they give them a little more access upfront, and MLS 360 broadcasting is a great opportunity to do this with the whip. Circular format that gives an overview of all football events.
Drive to survive for MLS
Another interesting move announced this week is Major League Soccer’s collaboration with Box to Box Films, makers of the popular F1 docuseries Drive to Survive, to produce a documentary about the soccer league. Netflix’s Drive to Survive is widely recognized as a factor in the growth of F1’s fan base in recent years.
The documentary, if made, would end up streaming on the Apple TV+ streaming service (including MLS Season Pass) and likely other outlets to introduce the sport of football and – specifically – MLS to a wider audience.
For its part, Apple has shown an increased interest in sports content for TV+. Just this week, Apple announced two esports projects that will soon be streaming through the service: wrestling documentaries Monster Factory and Real Madrid: Until the End, a series about Champions League-winning team Real Madrid, narrated in part by David Beckham. In January, it debuted with a series detailing the European Super League debacle.
Apple TV+ already has a working relationship with the Box to Box Films mentioned above. It produces Make or Break for TV+, which follows the Word Surf League.
Looking to the future, the streamer has also signed deals with companies like Meadowlark and Nike for more sports-related original content.
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