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Apple TV+ kicks off MLS Season Pass for soccer fans in 100 countries

Major League Soccer fans in more than 100 countries can now sign up for the MLS Season Pass subscription service via the Apple TV app and Apple TV+, Cupertino said Wednesday.

This comes ahead of the 2023 season’s launch on February 25. The new service will air all MLS and Leagues Cup matches, plus hundreds of MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT games, Apple said.

Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass launches in more than 100 countries and regions

“Available on the Apple TV app, MLS Season Pass is the exclusive destination to watch every live Major League Soccer regular-season match, the entire postseason, and Leagues Cup — all with no blackouts,” the company said.

No blackouts means regional coverage is never blocked. It’s a first in live sports broadcasting, according to Apple.

The company said fans looking forward to the 2023 MLS season can watch a variety of free on-demand content now. It includes 2023 player profiles, league and club highlights from 2022, full replays of classic matches and documentary-style vignettes.

Season kicks off February 25

Tim Cook and Eddy Cue hosted Major League Soccer players from across the league and MLS commissioner Don Garber at Apple Park.
Tim Cook and Eddy Cue hosted MLS commissioner Don Garber and players from across the league at Apple Park.
Photo: Apple

When the new season begins on February 25, MLS Season Pass will air every live MLS match through the championship, Apple said. Match times will be consistent over the season.

Fans with an MLS Season Pass subscription can see matches through the Apple TV app on Apple devices, smart TVs, streaming devices, set-top boxes and game consoles, and on the web at tv.apple.com.

Pregame shows, game wrap-ups and more

In addition to showing all the matches, MLS Season Pass will feature pregame shows and a postgame wrap-up to close each night. And to complement the action, a “five-hour live whip-around show” will revisit key moments from every match across the country. It airs 7:30 p.m. ET to 12:30 a.m. on game days (Wednesday and Saturdays).

Matches feature English- and Spanish-language announcers, and when Canadian teams are involved, you can get commentary in French. Pregame shows and the postgame wrap-ups will be available in English and Spanish, Apple said.

Fans in the US and Canada can also select their home team’s radio broadcast for audio on the Apple TV app where available. You can learn more about MLS Season Pass, including which broadcasters will make the calls, on this press page.

Personalization through dedicated club pages

“Fans can select their favorite club for a more personalized experience throughout the Apple TV app. Once a fan selects a favorite club, their matches will automatically appear in the Up Next watchlist on the Apple TV app,” Apple said.

And you can choose to get notifications on iPhone and iPad when your team’s match is about to start.

Each club page will offer everything possible to watch about that team. That includes live matches, match previews, interviews, replays and more. And you’ll also find a schedule of all matches plus featured stories.

Players look forward to it

You can watch MLS Season Pass through the Apple TV app on smart TVs, streaming devices, set-top boxes, game consoles or on the web.
You can watch MLS Season Pass through the Apple TV app on smart TVs, streaming devices, set-top boxes, game consoles or on the web.
Photo: Apple

MLS players are showing enthusiasm for the new service. Check out what a couple of them had to say below.

Kellyn Acosta, Los Angeles Football Club midfielder:

Having accessibility is huge for the sport. It’s going to help grow MLS not only domestically, but internationally. You’ll have eyes all over watching our games. We talk about how we want the league to continue to grow and bridge the gap in comparison with other leagues, and I think having this Apple partnership is a step in the right direction.

Leading into the World Cup in 2026, you want to build momentum and gain more exposure, and I think this partnership is going to truly be beautiful. I know my family is excited to have all the games in one place, and I think it’s going to be huge for the league and for the sport in the U.S.

Mark-Anthony Kaye, Toronto FC midfielder:

It never really crossed my mind that a partnership like this would really alleviate a lot of those stresses for so many of our fans, our families, our friends, and for the players too, because we watch MLS all the time. So it’s a good feeling to know that the league understands these issues and has done a really good job to put a deal together that can put us in a better position to bring MLS to the world.

I’ve only been in the league for six years, but the amount of growth is mind-blowing. So I think this is only scratching the surface with this Apple deal, and I’m really happy that they’ve done it.

Visit mlssoccer.com/schedule to see the full 2023 MLS season schedule. It notes which matches are available for free on the Apple TV app during the first month. Apple said it will add more free matches regularly throughout the season.

MLS almost everywhere on Apple

Apple typically offers a range of related features across its services for big launches, and MLS Season Pass is no different. Here are some highlights:

  • Club-curated playlists feature songs and artists “that embody the cultures of those clubs,” plus two MLS-inspired playlists on Apple Music. More music will be added throughout the season. Fans can visit apple.co/AM-MLS on iPhone, iPad, or Mac to go to the MLS experience on Apple Music.
  • As of February 25, fans can visit Apple Maps to explore dedicated Match Day Guides created by MLS clubs. Those include Atlanta United, Nashville SC and Toronto FC. Fans can see recommendations for local bars and restaurants , detailed stadium information and more.
  • In time for season opening matches, Maps will launch new custom-designed three-dimensional landmarks of MLS Stadiums. They include Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey; Lumen Field in Seattle; and Audi Field in Washington, D.C.
  • In iOS 16 Apple added a new My Sports section on the Apple TV app. It works across iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, allowing users to follow their favorite teams and leagues. Fans can visit apple.co/MySportsMLS on iPhone or iPad to go to the Apple TV app and follow their favorite clubs.
  • My Sports also lets you get personalized, real-time sports coverage from Apple News.

Subscription costs for MLS Season Pass

Subscriptions to MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app are $14.99 per month during the season or $99 per season. Apple TV+ subscribers can sign up for $12.99 per month or $79 per season.

Subscription also come with full-season ticket accounts. Family Sharing gives up to six family members access to the subscription using their own Apple ID and password.

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,” Apple said.

Source: Apple

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