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Major League Soccer package on Apple TV to launch on Feb. 1
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By JOE REEDY
Major League Soccer's 10-year partnership with Apple will kick off next Feb. 1 with the launch of MLS Season Pass.
The announcement Wednesday came less than two weeks after the MLS Cup and just ahead of the start of the World Cup.
The rights deal, which was first announced in July, allows fans to watch every game without local blackouts or restrictions. The service will be available in over 100 countries exclusively through the Apple TV app beginning next year.
The app can be accessed on Apple devices, smart TVs, streaming devices, set-top cable boxes and game consoles as well as Apple's web site. The package will be $14.99 per month or $99 a season with Apple TV+ offering it at $12.99 per month and $79 per season.
Season-ticket holders to MLS clubs will receive subscriptions as part of their ticket benefits.
MLS Season Pass will launch less than a month before the 2023 season begins on Feb. 25 with a full slate of games. The marquee game that day will be defending champion Los Angeles FC facing the LA Galaxy at the Rose Bowl. LAFC beat the Philadelphia Union on penalty kicks to win its first MLS Cup title.
All matches on opening weekend and some during the season will be available for free on the Apple TV app.
The league will have a more streamlined schedule beginning next season, with most matches being played on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. local time and some on Wednesdays. MLS is expected to announce its complete schedule in mid-December.
Commissioner Don Garber said during his recent State of the League address that MLS is closing in on linear deals after agreements with ESPN and Fox Sports expired after MLS Cup. Any games on linear channels will also be available on MLS Season Pass.
With the debut of St. Louis CITY SC, the league will have 29 teams next season. All teams will have an Apple TV sleeve patch on their jerseys, which will be underneath the MLS logo.
Besides all regular-season and postseason matches, the package includes all Leagues Cup matches - the competition between MLS and Mexico's Liga MX - as well as select MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT matches.
All matches will be called in English and Spanish while those involving Canadian clubs will also be available in French.
MLS and Apple will unveil announcers and broadcast enhancements before the launch day.
More AP MLS: https://apnews.com/hub/major-league-soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
Updated November 16, 2022