From Rachel Bachman and Tim Higgins' "Apple, Major League Soccer Strike 10-Year Streaming Deal for All MLS Games" posted Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal:
Apple and Major League Soccer unveiled a 10-year broadcasting deal for the league’s games, the iPhone-maker’s most significant move yet into sports that underscores the company’s growing ambitions for streaming.
The agreement will make the Apple TV app the home of all MLS matches, available to fans through a variety of programming options. Financial terms for the deal weren’t disclosed.
The scope of the deal is unprecedented, MLS Commissioner Don Garbersaid Tuesday. He noted that the league has “the youngest, the most diverse, the most digitally native fans anywhere in the world.”
The agreement makes MLS the most significant American sports league to move all of its games to a streaming service, rather than the bulk of games appearing on cable or broadcast TV. From early 2023 through 2032, fans will access matches by subscribing to a new MLS streaming service available only through the Apple TV app. The price for the service wasn’t disclosed.
From the AP Wire:
MLS Commissioner Don Garber said Apple is not paying a rights fee but rather a minimum guarantee against revenues that will be generated with both selling subscriptions.
“It’s part of what we both wanted. We’re in business together,” Garber said.
My take: MLS is not FIFA, which may be a good thing. I see that it was founded in 1993 as part of the US' bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and after some growing pains seems to have become profitable.