Major League Soccer (MLS) announced on Tuesday that it has signed an exclusive broadcast deal with streaming network Apple TV for all of its games, a deal that will come into effect from the 2023 season, marking the end of showing the parts means by CF Montreal and MLS on the television channel TVA Sports.
According to the trade publication SportsPro, the pact has a term of 10 years and an annual value of 250 million US dollars. As a result, the new league partner holds the exclusive broadcasting rights to all matches at the circuit, which includes CF Montreal matches.
Under the deal, linear television channels such as TVA Sports – the Montreal team’s exclusive channel for the past six years and whose contract expires in 2022 – and TSN will therefore no longer be able to broadcast MLS matches. However, Assistant Commissioner Gary Stevenson did mention that he was open to the possibility of having certain games featured on cable channels in Canada and the United States.
“TVA Sports is delighted to have contributed to the growth and impact of CF Montreal and MLS for six years. We are surprised and disappointed by the decision. By the end of the season, we will be broadcasting 18 remaining CF Montreal games on TVA Sports,” the broadcaster replied.
In a press release, MLS mentioned that all games will be available in English, while clashes with Canadian formations can be seen and listened to in French via the new “streamer”.
All MLS team season ticket holders will receive a subscription to the circuit’s online listening service, officials said.
This MLS-approved partnership is the first of its kind in professional sports history. Football fans have access to all matches, regardless of the participating clubs, by subscribing to the league’s streaming service, offered only by the Apple TV+ application.
The whole thing includes the playoff matchups and the All-Star Game, just like MLS NEXT.
“Apple is the perfect partner to accelerate the growth of MLS and strengthen our bond between our teams and their fans,” Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. Thanks to Apple’s ability to create a superior customer experience and reach fans everywhere, it will be really easy to enjoy MLS games anywhere, whether you’re a fanatic or a casual viewer. »
“We think we’ve positioned our league perfectly when it comes to developing how people watch live sports,” he added during a press conference. 80% of our fans watch at least one game a week online because it suits them.
On the part of Apple, that was visibly happy.
“This is a historic moment for the sport and a dream come true for the fans. I’m a huge sports fan and for the first time ever I’ll be able to access all of the major league professional content in one place.” and Apple’s Internet software, Eddy Cue.