Apple, Major League Soccer Ink 10-Year Streaming Deal, Beginning in 2023

Apple and Major League Soccer (MLS) announced a 10-year deal making the Apple TV app the exclusive destination to watch every single live MLS match beginning in 2023.
 
The partnership is a historic first for a professional sports league, and will allow fans around the world to watch all MLS, Leagues Cup, and select MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT matches — without any local broadcast blackouts or the need for a traditional pay-TV bundle.
 
Tech rival Amazon, the exclusive distributor of “NFL Thursday Night Football,” has a separate streaming deal with MLS club Seattle Sounders.
 
In addition, Apple TV will provide fans a new weekly live match whip-around show so they never miss an exciting goal or save, and also game replays, highlights, analysis, and other original programming. This live and on-demand MLS content will provide in-depth, behind-the-scenes views of the players and clubs.
 
 
A broad selection of MLS and Leagues Cup matches, including some of the biggest matchups, will also be available at no additional cost to Apple TV+ subscribers, with a limited number of matches available for free.
 
“For the first time in the history of sports, fans will be able to access everything from a major professional sports league in one place,” Eddy Cue, SVP of Apple Services, said in a statement.
 
MLS commissioner Don Garber contends Apple is the “perfect partner” to further accelerate the growth of MLS in the U.S. and abroad.
 
“It’ll be incredibly easy to enjoy MLS matches anywhere, whether you’re a super fan or casual viewer,” Garber said.
 
At launch, all MLS and Leagues Cup matches will include announcers calling the action in English and Spanish, and all matches involving Canadian teams will be available in French. Apple and MLS will also provide enhanced league and club coverage for fans to easily follow the league or their favorite clubs in Apple News, with the ability to watch highlights right in the News app.
 
Major League Soccer is the fastest-growing soccer league in the world, more than doubling in size to 29 clubs over the last 15 years. The momentum will continue as soccer grows throughout North America on the road to the 2026 FIFA World Cup hosted by the U.S., Canada and Mexico. With players representing 82 countries, MLS has the most global player pool in all sports, and its fan base is one of the youngest, most diverse audiences in North American sports.
 

Amazon Prime Video Inks Streaming Partnership With Seattle Sounders FC Pro Soccer Team

In a first, Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC and Amazon Prime Video Aug. 18 announced a deal that sees the SVOD platform become the official video streaming partner of the Rave Green. Prime Video is now the sole digital streaming platform for all non-nationally televised Sounders FC matches throughout the club’s home broadcast territory, marking just the second time Prime Video has reached a streaming agreement with a sports franchise, and the first deal with a professional soccer club. Amazon is based in Seattle.

Starting with Sounders FC’s Aug. 26 match at the Los Angeles Galaxy, the three-year agreement is set to run through the 2022 Major League Soccer season.

“Sounders FC is a fundamental part of our culture here in the Pacific Northwest, and as a club they have always been at the forefront of innovation in professional sports,” Marie Donoghue, VP of global sports video at Amazon, said in a statement. “We share this common vision for innovation at Prime Video, and are committed to delighting fans and enhancing the value of a Prime membership through sports, and we believe this deal accomplishes just that.”

With the 2020 MLS regular season resuming in just five days, all regionally televised Sounders FC MLS matches will now be available on Prime Video with a Prime membership. Sounders FC’s regional broadcast territory extends throughout the entirety of Washington State — inclusive of the traditional Seattle-Tacoma-Everett television DMA and key population centers like Spokane, Yakima, Tri-Cities and Vancouver, Wash.

Rave Green matches will now be streamed across hundreds of compatible devices, including smart TVs, mobile devices, Fire TV, Fire tablet, Apple TV, Chromecast, video game consoles, Comcast X1, or from the Web. JOEtv continues to be the regional television home of the Rave Green, alongside radio partners Sports Radio 950 KJR AM and El Rey 1360 AM.

Pluto TV Gets Major League Soccer

Pluto TV May 13 announced the launch of the Major Leaguer Soccer (MLS) channel on the ad-supported streaming video platform.

San Francisco-based Pluto said the move underscored what it claims is the sport of soccer’s strong appeal with cord-cutters and millennial consumers.

“Establishing our first league offering with a renowned and respected organization like the MLS is the perfect match,” Amy Kuessner, SVP of content partnerships for Pluto TV, said in a statement. “Expanding Pluto TV’s sports offerings has long been a goal of the platform.”

Highlights of the available programming include classic matches, such as MLS Cup 2018 and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s debut for the LA Galaxy, a 4-3 win over crosstown rivals LAFC.

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Original features on offer will include “The Movement,” which explores the intersection of soccer and culture, and “The Birth of a Rivalry,” MLS’s flagship series about the passion of new rivalries.

Additional programming includes “Matchday Central,” featuring expert analysis from MLS personalities; “Extratimedriven by Continental,” a twice-weekly talk show; “MLS Review,” a weekly show; and highlights including “Top 10 Plays” and “All Goals,” amongst others.

“Major League Soccer’s agreement with Pluto TV offers fans a new way to experience the game and interact with our high-quality content,” said Chris Schlosser, SVP of media at MLS. “Major League Soccer is always evaluating new opportunities to provide our young, diverse and tech savvy fan base increased access to our matches, athletes and clubs.”

MLS’ new channel will join Pluto TV’s 100+ live, linear, curated channels and thousands of movies on demand from nearly 150 major studios, networks, publishers and digital first outfits.

Viewers and fans can access Pluto TV in the living room by utilizing Amazon’s Fire TV, Roku, Android TV, Chromecast, on Smart TVs by Vizio, Hisense, and Sony, or on gaming consoles such as PS4. It is also available on-the-go via apps for iOS, Android, and Amazon, at-the-fingertips on PC and Mac, or on the web at www.Pluto.TV.