Apple’s powerful integration of Major League Soccer into its TV app goes live today. Users in 100 countries can watch live or replayed video of all MLS and League Cup games without regional or time restrictions for a monthly or annual fee.
The service is accessible on any Apple TV-enabled device, including third-party smart TVs, streaming consoles, and game consoles as well as Apple Macs, iPads, and iPhones. It costs $14.99 per month, or $99 per season, but existing Apple TV+ subscribers can get it for $12.99 per month, or $79 per season.
The MLS season hasn’t started yet;
everything starts on February 25, but the app will have videos from previous games for subscribers to watch, including some freebies even if you don’t have a subscription.
At that point, other tech companies like Amazon planned to stream games from major sports leagues, but they frequently encounter the same restrictions.
It would appear that Apple negotiated this agreement with MLS in part to demonstrate its concept of what sports streaming might or might not be. This MLS service imagines, “What if watching sports over IP was easy?” as NFL content is entangled in an absurdly tangled web of legal agreements and business interests.
In the years preceding his declining health and death, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs focused on the television industry, both privately and publicly, as a sector in need of radical transformation in the digital age. Apple’s years of battling TV’s legal and marketing complexities to find something less expensive resulted in the first Apple TV 4K and the TV app that would later appear on other devices. more irritating than what cable TV was doing at the time.
It was mostly a failure because Apple didn’t have enough room to achieve its goals because of ingrained interests.
Why would television stations and production companies give up money, control over their content, and lucrative regional agreements in order for Apple to enter their territories? After all, companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon have already taken a significant portion of the market share from other sectors.
However, there was sufficient for users to achieve Apple’s goals. The MLS service appears to be an extension of this still-new concept, regardless of the niche. Although this isn’t the first time that sports have been offered by Apple through the TV app, it is the most aggressive attempt to feature third-party content alongside Apple original content on the TV+ service.