MLS Season Pass has officially gone live on Apple TV. Last Word on Soccer has taken a deep dive into what’s to come on the platform before the season starts. Here’s everything MLS fans need to know about the platform before the season kicks off on February 25.
Everything MLS Fans Need to Know About MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
Let’s get the big stuff out of the way. We already know there are no blackouts or geo-blocking. We already knew that but it is worth repeating. Apple TV is in over 100 countries. If you’re in one of those countries and have a device with internet access, you can stream MLS games.
Many fans were surprised at the price point being $100 for the year. Not sure the MLS casual is paying double the cost for other sports streaming services for just MLS.
That said, fans will be able to share MLS Season Pass with family members, across six unique Apple IDs. If you’ve got a couple friends or family who are in, you can share and split the costs. Convert a friend midseason, you can add them to your MLS Season Pass as well. For comparison, similar soccer streaming services (ESPN, Paramount, Fubo) allow three simultaneous devices maximum.
Apple did say a certain number of games would not be behind the MLS Season Pass paywall, effectively available to regular Apple TV+ subscribers. That will average about six games a week. It’s not clear yet how Apple will be choosing which games will be in front of the paywall. Will they be picking big matchups? Some of the more popular teams? Weekend or midweek games? With 29 teams in MLS, that’s 14 games a weekend at the most. Assuming no midweek games, that’s almost half of the games over a full weekend. That’s pretty good for trying to pull in the Apple TV subscriber.
At launch, multi-screening will not be possible on the app regardless of the device. MLS Live was great back in the day where fans could stream four games at the same time all on one browser tab. With simultaneous kickoffs across time zones, there will be plenty of times where 10 plus games are on at the same time. Fans who want to watch all those games will have to have multiple devices set up to do so.
Apple did announce their second round of hiring for on-screen talent earlier this week. A third and final round is likely before the opening weekend. So if you’re still holding out hope that your favorite local broadcaster is sticking around, there’s still hope. All matches will be available in English and Spanish. Additionally, matches involving a Canadian team will be available in French. That said, most of the extra content will be English to start, with Apple working towards having it in Spanish as well.
Speaking of the additional content, there’s so much of it. Basically that whole Pablo Mauer thread from a few weeks back was right. Weekly updates on team happenings. Videos on club history and greatest moments. Features on players, past and present. Club culture videos as well. This is the kind of stuff hard core fans will love to watch and reminisce on. They will also help educate and convert newer fans. All of this content will be available on customized home pages, which each MLS team will have.
Getting to the live games, fans will be able to turn on notifications so they get notified when coverage and kickoffs are. Favorited games and teams will also show up at the front of your feed on the main page. If you miss kickoff, you’ll be able to join the game live or start from the beginning. There’s been issues with platforms that had MLS in the past in how long it took a finished game to be available to watch in the archives. Apple will be making those instantly available.
Main photo courtesy of Apple.