Apple to Launch ‘Major League Soccer Pass’ Streaming Service on Feb. 1, 2023

Apple and Major League Soccer are set to launch MLS Season Pass on Feb. 1, 2023 — a new subscription service available in more than 100 countries featuring every live MLS regular-season match, playoffs and the Leagues Cup.
 
All matches will be available through the Apple TV app on Apple devices, smart TVs, streaming devices, set-top boxes, game consoles and the web at tv.apple.com.  The MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app will cost $14.99 per month during the season or $99 per season. Apple TV+ subscribers can sign up at a special price of $12.99 per month and $79 per season.
 
The launch of MLS Season Pass marks the official kickoff of the 10-year partnership between MLS and Apple, a historic first for a major professional sports league.
 
“There isn’t a more perfect time to introduce MLS Season Pass, coming off the heels of the most dramatic MLS Cup in history and with MLS as the fastest-growing soccer league in the world,” Eddy Cue, SVP of Apple Services, said in a statement.
 
The MLS 2023 regular season kicks off on Feb. 25, 2023. The first home opener to be revealed so far is the 2022 MLS Cup champions Los Angeles FC against the L.A. Galaxy in a match showcasing Los Angeles’ marquee soccer rivalry at the Rose Bowl Stadium — the first MLS regular-season match to be played there since 2002.
 
 
All matches during the opening weekend will be available to watch for free on the Apple TV app.
 
Viewers will be able to stream matches featuring English and Spanish broadcast crews, and can also listen to a club’s home radio broadcast on the Apple TV app. All matches involving Canadian teams will also be available in French. Matches will take place primarily on Saturdays and Wednesdays, with a few matches held on Sundays. For most matches, the start time will be 7:30 p.m. local time, with pregame coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
 
Major League Soccer’s complete 2023 schedule will be announced in mid-December.
 
The streaming service will provide fans with in-depth coverage of their favorite clubs every week throughout the season, starting with previews of each upcoming match. On match day, viewers will have the ability to watch any match from the start, no matter when they tune in. After the final whistle, fans can watch match replays, highlight packages, and more so they can catch up on anything they missed on and off the pitch.
 
 

Facebook, Disney/ESPN+ Up Soccer Streaming

Soccer may be the world’s most-popular sport that has yet to generate mainstream appeal in the United States. But that isn’t stopping major domestic over-the-top video platforms from inking distribution deals with international professional leagues.

Disney’s recently launched OTT service ESPN+ signed a multi-year media agreement for three more top-division soccer leagues – Australia’s Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League, the Chinese Super League and the Dutch Eredivisie.

In all, more than 300 matches per season from the leagues will be streamed live exclusively in the United States on ESPN+.

“This agreement further boosts the position of ESPN+ as the leading new platform for live soccer matches in the U.S.,” Burke Magnus, EVP of programming and scheduling at ESPN, said in a statement. “These leagues join a lineup of hundreds of top-division live matches from Europe and North America, along with a strong lineup of original and studio soccer programming.”

Last week, ESPN+ announced a new multi-year agreement with Serie A TIM that includes more than 340 Italian soccer matches per year. The streaming service is also home to MLS Live – a collection of more than 250 Major League Soccer out-of-market matches, as well as local market media home for the Chicago Fire.

ESPN+ will carry more than 100 live matches from the UEFA Nations League (UNL), a new tournament among the 55-member nations from the Union of European Football Associations played on FIFA international match days beginning in September. In addition, ESPN+ subscribers have access to hundreds of English Football League (EFL), the United Soccer League (USL) matches.

The service also streams “ESPN FC”, ESPN’s daily global soccer news, information and analysis program.

Separately, Facebook signed a deal with Spain’s La Liga soccer league to stream matches in Asia. The €90 million agreement will live-stream 380 matches in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldivas, Nepal, Butan and Sri Lanka.

This summer Amazon Prime Video announced it would live-stream 20 Premier League soccer matches beginning in 2019.