Apple’s 10-year (minimum) $2.5 billion deal to stream Major League Soccer matches is different and potentially groundbreaking. This could be a factor for the NBA’s next broadcast deal, which is effective in 2025. This could be a historic moment in how we watch sports and how leagues thrive in the changing digital environment.
It could also be a dud.
The now 29-year-old MLS has had an impressive journey, building a league and making its stadium experiences exceptional, but it has failed to become TV staple. And that deal could make him less and less relevant if his tech talk young fans don’t see them flocking to his new way of presenting games.
We first discussed the possibility of an Apple-MLS deal in this newsletter at the end of January. Now it’s here, and it could change the landscape of sports media. To understand all the ways he could, Sports+ spoke to TV and pro league executives, as well as agents, about the long-term deal and what it could mean for the future of the live sports with an eye on NBA rights that are in place in the middle of this decade.