Apple got into live sports last year with weekly Major League Baseball games, but now the company is launching its most ambitious offering yet. Today, the company is introducing the MLS Season Pass, a subscription that gives football fans access to every match of the 2023 season, the Leagues Cup and both MLS Next Pro and MLS Next matches – all without blackouts. While you can sign up today and view a library of archived content, the first games will start on February 25.
MLS Season Pass will be available to stream via the Apple TV app on the company’s range of devices, gaming consoles, streaming gadgets, set-top boxes, smart TVs and on the web. You can access the subscription wherever you find that piece of software. The streaming plan costs $15 per month or $99 for the season. If you’re an Apple TV+ customer, you get the discounted rates of $13/month or $79/season. In addition, ardent fans who are season ticket holders of an MLS club get the all-inclusive streaming subscription for free. Apple’s affiliation with MLS is part of a 10-year deal, so the US league’s games aren’t moving to another network or streaming service any time soon.
If you’re not sure if you want to commit just yet, “the majority” of the on-demand content that’s already streaming is available for free. More importantly, Apple will offer every game for free during opening weekend and will follow that up with weekly free games. That library of on-demand items includes archived matches dating back to 2019, documentary-style stories, last season’s best moments, and curated highlights.
Each team has a club page with highlights, schedule info and archived matches. Once you’ve selected the team or teams you want to follow, match reminders will appear in the Up Next section of the Apple TV app. As the season approaches, you’ll be able to access game previews and other team-specific content. During matches, Live Activities will show updates on your iPhone’s lock screen.
Apple has committed to English and Spanish commentary teams for every game. In addition, MLS Season Pass offers French for matches with Canadian league clubs. Apple has already announced a team of nearly 50 announcers, including a wide range of veteran broadcasters and former players. Maurice Edu, Cobi Jones, Taylor Twellman, Lori Lindsey and Danielle Slaton are just a few of the many. In addition to games, the MLS Season Pass offers live pre-match, half-time and post-match analytics, as well as a “whip show” featuring live glimpses into ongoing games and detailed discussions of key moments from each match .
Interestingly, Apple will also provide radio broadcasts as part of the streaming plan. If you don’t care about the broadcast team, or just prefer to listen to your favorite club’s radio crew, you can opt for that alternative audio. The company promises that the sound will sync with the live action, so it will be a true replacement if you choose it. One of the most important things Apple hasn’t announced yet is streaming quality. The company says the “full production plan” will be announced before the start of the season, which will hopefully include that information. Apple’s weekly MLB games were streamed in 1080p at 60fps, but since MLS Season Pass is a much more expansive effort that literally includes every game, the company might surprise us and upgrade to 4K.
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