Apple TV users can now watch Major League Soccer matches with MLS Season Pass • TechCrunch
Today, Apple launched MLS Season Pass in over 100 territories, giving soccer fans access to all MLS matches, Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs, and Leagues Cup, as well as original programming. Notably, there are no blackouts, so subscribers get to watch matches in or out of market. The 2023 MLS season begins on February 25.
The ten-year deal between Major League Soccer and Apple is significant for both entities as it provides a unique experience to a large fanbase. For the 2022 MLS Cup, the league drew its biggest audience in 25 years, generating 2.155 million viewers across Fox and Univision in the U.S. If Apple’s new subscription proves to be successful, there’s potential for other streaming services and major sports leagues to consider similar agreements in the future. Apple also reportedly may have plans to bid on English Premier League football streaming rights.
How Much Does MLS Season Pass Cost?
MLS Season Pass is now available on the Apple TV app for $14.99 per month or $99 per season. Thanks to Apple’s Family Sharing, up to six members can share the subscription using their own Apple ID and password.
Apple TV+ subscribers get a discounted price of $12.99 per month or $79 per season. For comparison, NBA League Pass is $14.99 per month or $99 per season. ESPN+ streams up to 350 out-of-market MLS matchups for $9.99/month.
Also, MLS season ticket holders get a MLS Season Pass subscription at no additional cost.
What’s Included with MLS Season Pass?
MLS Season Pass is available through the Apple TV app on Apple devices, smart TVs, streaming devices, set-top boxes, game consoles, and via the web (tv.apple.com). Supported devices include Samsung TVs, LG TVs, Panasonic TVs, Sony TVs, VIZIO TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, Roku devices, Android TV and Google TV devices, PlayStation, Xbox and more.
With MLS Season Pass, subscribers have access to all live matches throughout the season, which feature English and Spanish-speaking broadcasters. Canadian games will get French commentary.
The best part about the 2023 season is that most MLS games on Apple will be broadcast on Saturdays and select Wednesdays, with 7:30 p.m. local start times, so fans can more easily learn when they can watch their favorite teams’ matches.
To follow your favorite teams, Apple TV users can select their faves in the app under the “My Sports” tab, where they can also find the scores and schedules for every club. Fans can also sign up for reminders and alerts to be notified on their devices when a game is about to begin.
Before the 2023 season starts, viewers can watch free on-demand content like 2023 player profiles, interviews, highlights from the 2022 season, and more. Fans can watch full replays of matches from the 2019 season up until 2022.
Also, fans don’t need an MLS Season Pass subscription for “MLS is Back” opening weekend since it’ll be available to stream for free on the Apple TV app.
The MLS coverage will feature nearly 50 announcers, analysts and former soccer players, such as Taylor Twellman, a former MLS and U.S. National Team player; Danielle Slaton, a former member of the US Women’s National Team and analyst; Maurice Edu, a member of the 2010 U.S. World Cup team; Lori Lindsey, a former member of the 2011 U.S. Women’s World Cup team and soccer analyst for ESPN and CBS Sports; among many others.
“This talented group of men and women has taken part in the biggest moments across the soccer and sports landscape for the past decade; whether covering them on air or taking part in them as players, they have been at the center of building our sport in North America. We are excited to see how their diversity of experiences will elevate our coverage and storytelling across our live matches and studio shows, bringing our sport to fans around the globe like never before,” said Don Garber, MLS Commissioner, in a statement.
Major League Soccer 2023 Season – Full Schedule
In December 2022, Major League Soccer announced the complete 2023 schedule, featuring 29 clubs, like Nashville SC, LA Galaxy, Austin FC, NY Red Bulls, Houston Dynamo, Atlanta United, etc.
The first match will have Nashville against New York City on February 25, starting at 4:30 p.m. ET. Other matches on opening day include Philadelphia vs. Columbus at 7:30 p.m., Austin vs. St Louis at 8:30 p.m., LA Galaxy vs. LAFC at 9:30 p.m., Portland vs. Sporting KC at 10:30 p.m., and eight other matches.
Fans will also get to see the return of Rivalry Week in the 2023 season, which starts on May 13 and ends on May 20. Matchups include Atlanta United vs. Charlotte FC, the New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC and LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes.
Additionally, the MLS All-Star Game will take place on July 19, an annual event with the best of the league competing against an international team. Also, in July, there will be a brand new Leagues Cup where all 47 MLS and Mexico’s Liga MX clubs will play in a monthlong tournament. This makes the Leagues Cup 2023 a historical, must-watch event for fans.
On September 23, the Philadelphia Union will rematch Los Angeles FC since the teams tied 3-3 in the 2022 MLS Cup. LAFC ultimately won the MLS Cup title in a penalty shootout.
MLS Decision Day 2023 will occur on October 21, when all teams compete for playoff spots and seeding.
Other Ways to Watch MLS Matches
In addition to the entire MLS coverage on the Apple TV app, select matches will also be simulcast on Fox networks in the U.S. as part of a four-year linear television agreement. Also, TelevisaUnivision will have Spanish language coverage of over 20 matches in the U.S.
Fox, FS1 and Fox Deportes will air 34 regular-season games and eight Audi MLS Cup playoff matches. An additional 15 regular-season matches will air on Fox. In addition, the MLS Cup will be broadcast on Fox and Fox Deportes. Meanwhile, on FS1, viewers can watch the Leagues Cup, 10 Group Stage, four Round of 32, and two Round of 16 matches.
Major League Soccer also struck linear deals with two Canadian networks, Réseau des sports (RDS) and The Sports Network (TSN).