Apple: Good Or Bad For MLS?
Everyone seems to either like or dislike the Apple x MLS deal.
If I were MLS, I’d be thrilled to get $2.5 billion over ten years.
If I were a fan, I’d be on the fence so I decided to list some pros and cons of this new deal.
This is something new because since Apple TV+ isn’t a channel that everyone has.
Sure, the app will be available on almost all platforms and smart TVs but there is still a learning curve for some people.
I can’t see my dad downloading the app on his phone, tablet, or tv and navigating through the login process on his own whereas in the past, he would need to flip through the channels until he came across the game.
The Subscription Model
The MLS Season Pass will be available starting February 1st for $14.99 a month or $99 a season. If you are an Apply TV+ subscriber, you can get a discounted rate of $12.99/month or $79/season.
This is also where some people get a little confused. If you already have an Apple TV+ subscription, you will not get the MLS Season Pass. Some games will be free to watch each month but you will not be able to watch all the games.
I’ve seen some backlash on this subscription model because , people don’t want to pay for another subscription. But, this is no different from paying for ESPN+ because that is an extra charge along with your cable/satellite subscription for ESPN, ESPN 2, etc.
No Blackout Games
This is huge because in the past, you couldn’t watch games that were in your market. For example, I couldn’t watch Galaxy games if were in the Los Angeles area unless I had Spectrum Sportsnet or if the games were on ESPN, Fox Sports, etc. Now, that wouldn’t matter and I could watch Galaxy games even if I were in a different country. As long as I have a MLS Season Pass plan, I am able to watch MLS games on the Apple TV app no matter where I am.
More MLS Content
There used to be a flurry of MLS content on YouTube about ten years ago and one day, it seemed like MLS stopped releasing as much videos. I don’t know what the reason was but MLS fans are always hungry for stuff to consume.
According to a document Pablo Maurer acquired, teams are expected to create a certain amount of video content for this upcoming MLS season. These are listed in detail in his twitter thread:
Only time will tell how this deal will benefit the league and its fans. The only thing I am absolutely dreading is downtime for the larger games such as El Tráfico and the playoffs. That would be a huge disaster for the service but knowing Apple, they will be able to locate and fix the problem in no time.
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