Apple and MLS launched MLS Season Pass last weekend, offering live streaming and on-demand viewing of all Major League Soccer games, as well as supporting content like original series and a hosted live whip-around show (called ‘MLS 360’) that features highlights from all the games happening that day.
In addition to Season Pass members, this show is now being made available to Apple TV+ subscribers too …
MLS Season Pass costs $14.99 per month or $99 for the whole season. Apple TV+ subscribers get a slight discount; $12.99 per month or $79 per season. Apple TV+ subscribers also get to watch a selection of matches each week, without needing the MLS Season Pass.
For week one, the whip-around show ‘MLS 360’ was also behind the Season Pass Paywall. But for week two onwards, that is no longer the case. MLS 360 (which goes live on the Apple TV app in a couple hours from now) is now streaming free for Season Pass and TV+ subscribers.
Presumably, this move represents a strategic bet from Apple that they will be able to convert more TV+ viewers into Season Pass members, if they give them slightly more access upfront and the MLS 360 broadcast is a great way to do that, with the whip-around format giving an overview of all the soccer action.
Drive to Survive for MLS
Another interesting move announced this week is that Major League Soccer is teaming up with Box to Box Films, the makers of popular F1 docuseries Drive to Survive, to produce a documentary focused on the soccer league. Netflix’s Drive to Survive is widely credited as being factor for the growth in F1 fanbase over the last few years.
The documentary, if made, would end up streaming on Apple TV+ streaming service (including MLS Season Pass) and likely other outlets to promote the sport of soccer and — specifically — MLS to a wider audience.
For its part, Apple has shown increased interests in sports content for TV+. Just this week, Apple announced two sports projects streaming soon on the service: wrestling docuseries Monster Factory and Real Madrid: Until the End, a series following the Champions League winning team Real Madrid, narrated in part by David Beckham. In January, it debuted a series detailing the debacle of the European Super League.
Apple TV+ already has a working relationship with the aforementioned Box to Box Films. It produces Make or Break for TV+, which follows the Word Surf League.
Looking further out, the streamer has also struck deals with companies including Meadowlark and Nike for more sports-related original content.
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