Apple today announced a major new sports streaming deal. Following on from its MLB Friday Night Baseball deal on Apple TV+, the company today announced that it will be the exclusive streaming destination to watch Major League Soccer games, in the US and internationally, starting with the 2023 season.
Unlike Friday Night Baseball, watching the games will require a separate subscription to an MLS streaming service, available exclusively through the Apple TV app.
Apple describes this as a “historic first” for a major professional sports league, with access to all MLS and Leagues Cup games. A selection of MLS NEXT matches are also included in the deal.
Most significantly, the streaming service will have no local blackout restrictions. All games broadcast on linear TV will also be live streamed on Apple’s MLS subscription service. Apple has secured these rights for ten years, lasting until 2032.
Although full access will require a separate subscription, Apple says that some MLS and Leagues Cup games will also stream for free with an Apple TV+ subscription. Access to the streaming service will also be bundled with MLS full-season ticket packages.
This means that MLS viewing will now happen exclusively through the Apple TV app, which is available on Apple devices and many third-party devices including Amazon Fire TV and Roku sticks. A basic website experience is available at tv.apple.com.
Alongside the streaming live games, Apple will also broadcast a new weekly roundup show, host game replays, highlights and other original programming.
Full details about the service, including pricing and the 2023 games schedule, will be announced in the coming months.
The MLS deal represents Apple’s second major push into live sports content, following the rollout of Friday Night Baseball earlier this year. Apple is also widely rumored to have secured NFL Sunday Ticket rights, although that deal is yet to be officially confirmed.