Technology giant and streaming company Apple Inc AAPL signed a deal with Major League Soccer (MLS) on Tuesday. Here are the details.
What Happened: Major League Soccer signed a 10-year media rights deal with Apple beginning in 2023. Current MLS rights owners ESPN and Fox Sports, units of Walt Disney Co DIS and Fox Corp FOX, respectively, could also gain linear television content.
The 10-year deal was worth an estimated $2.5 billion, according to The Athletic.
“In a historic first for sports, fans can stream every single MLS match through the Apple TV app, without any local blackouts or restrictions,” the release reads.
Every MLS game will be available for AppleTV+ subscribers according to the release. A new weekly live match whip-around show will also be available for subscribers, showing goals and big saves along with game highlights.
“This live and on-demand MLS content will provide in-depth, behind-the-scenes views of the players and clubs that fans love.”
Apple will offer matches with announcers in both English and Spanish. Games featuring Canadian teams will also feature French announcers for subscribers.
Why It’s Important: Apple praised the access fans will have to games and content.
“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,” Apple’s Senior Vice President of Services Eddy Cue said.
Major League Soccer is among the fastest-growing soccer leagues in the world, doubling to 29 clubs in the last 15 years.
Loup Funds Managing Partner Gene Munster highlighted the push into sports by Apple with its streaming platform and also the increased amount of content the company will have.
Munster said AppleTV+ has over 128 shows now with 65 in the upcoming category and 15 listed as in development.
“When you put it together, over 200 movies and tv shows by the end of 2024,” Munster said.
AppleTV+ has around 30 million paid subscribers paying $60 a year. Munster said at $2 billion in annual revenue, AppleTV+ is one of the smaller segments but among the many for Apple that start to add up.
Going forward, Munster highlights Apple continuing to add to sports content that now includes Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.
“It’s still early, they’re still missing the top three sports globally.”
The NFL, English Premier League and cricket could be valuable to Apple and Munster sees the NFL and EPL targeted next by Apple.
Munster also sees the current $5 a month cost for subscribers, which he says gives a lot of bang for your buck, rising.
“Would expect price increase is due in the next few years.”
APPL Price Action: Apple shares closed Tuesday up 0.67% to $132.76.
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