Apple TV and MLS | Free matches and on-site commentators

We still don’t know anything about subscription prices. But details about Apple TV’s contract with MLS are beginning to emerge.

Posted at 3:55 p.m.

Jean-Francois Teotonio

Jean-Francois Teotonio
The Press

The Athletic site published an exhaustive update on Thursday of what is going on in the offices of Apple for the first of 10 years of contract linking the Californian giant and the Garber circuit.

We learn in particular that the broadcaster will employ production teams on site, in all its markets, for all its matches, at least for the first year. This therefore means that the French-language broadcast of the matches of the three Canadian teams will not be centralized in a Californian office, for example. Also, there will be three separate broadcast teams for Canadian clubs. No names have yet been revealed in this chapter.

The article mentions that the league is banking on a deal with cable partners ESPN, Fox Univision in the United States. In Canada, we are currently working with TSN and TVA Sports. RDS is not mentioned.

It will be possible to mute Apple commentators and tune into local radio for home games.

While no subscription price has been disclosed to the consumer, up to 40% of matches may be available for free on Apple TV. Matches would be played primarily on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with some of these matches available without the need for a season ticket. Moreover, it is mentioned that the first year, the subscription price could be very affordable, in order to accommodate as many subscribers as possible. Already, MLS season ticket holders will have access to all of Apple’s MLS content.

The 2022 season is not over yet. But the start of the 2023 season is coming quickly for Apple TV: The Athletic mentions that the company is “12 months behind schedule” on its schedule. This could create “technical broadcasting problems” for the first meetings on the schedule.

The topic of yet another tweak to the MLS playoff format resurfaced this week. The Athletic article confirms the rumour: Apple would like a “World Cup” type tournament, with a group stage and playoffs, for the post-season tournament. This new format would allow him to have a greater “inventory” of matches.

In addition, each club could have its own channel in the application, to broadcast its own content.

Obviously, who says Apple says product placement. Players and coaching staff will have iPads available to them on the bench. Referees could have Apple Watches on their wrists. The Apple logo could be present on the jerseys.

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