This 10 year, $2.5 billion MLS deal with Apple TV is probably the future of sports broadcasting deals

Menace Sockeyes

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Sep 2, 2010
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Some interesting details here. Streaming services appear to be the future players in these deals:

-ALL matches will be on Apple TV, some free, some on Apple TV+, and the rest on an Apple-MLS subscription service. No blackouts.

-ABC & ESPN and/or Fox Sports will strike deals, but not what they would w/ exclusivity.

-No local TV, just local radio, which can be selected as an audio option for Apple broadcasts.

-Whip-around show as games will be almost entirely on Saturday and Wednesday nights.

-Exclusive documentaries, studio shows, and programming.

-Season ticket holders for each club get an Apple TV+ subscription included with their tickets.

 
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Mountain Man Hawk

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It will be interesting to see how many streaming games the BigTen agrees to in their upcoming deal. We all know it’s eventually coming, I’m just not sure how soon.
 
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hawkeye54545

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I hope for you soccer fans this works. Once Bally sports got baseball rights to many teams it makes it hard to follow your favorite team if they are aligned with them.

I know the last couple years I have watched fewer baseball games than I ever have. Maybe the MLS leadership isn't as clueless as Rob Manfred and MLB though.
 
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onlyTheObvious

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Streaming only makes sense if it makes financial sense.

It’s all about who bids the most. Nobody is going to streaming because they think it’s the future. They are streaming because they offer the most money.

Netflix found out recently. Growth of viewership isn’t a given.

Streaming will be something people cut back on during a recession.
 
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Menace Sockeyes

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They started showing some MLB games this season as well, I think on Fri nights.
I can’t remember if it was them or YouTube that I watched one MLB game on, where I could choose which teams radio announcers to listen to for audio. That was a cool feature.
 
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onlyTheObvious

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If somebody like the Big Ten went streaming exclusive they would lose their ass.

BTN makes all its money off people that are forced to pay the BTN money because it’s part of the basic package. The BTN went to war early on, saying you put it on basic or you don’t put it on at all. They want that money from all the people who don’t give a damn about sports.

I love football but even I could live without BTN. It’s mostly the awful games and I don’t watch 6 hours of it in a given year.
 

NDallasRuss

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The older I get the less I care about being able to watch a game on TV. Leagues should be wanting to make it easier for me to consume their product, not more difficult.

I guess the leagues are about the dollars, and it doesn't matter if the dollars come from thousands of individual fans and the TV advertisers, or one content distributor.
 

Hawk_82

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Sep 17, 2006
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The older I get the less I care about being able to watch a game on TV. Leagues should be wanting to make it easier for me to consume their product, not more difficult.

I guess the leagues are about the dollars, and it doesn't matter if the dollars come from thousands of individual fans and the TV advertisers, or one content distributor.
Ultimately i see teams/leagues alienating their fan base.

Prices have gotten out of control to attend an in person event. There is only so much people are willing to do to keep up with their favorite teams.

I know for college basketball, when the pre-season games were not on tv, or if i have to pay extra to watch, this sets the tone for the season. When fans realize its not that big of a deal to miss a game, that usually translates to missing more games. I also think kids are not as into watching sports as they used to be.
 

onlyTheObvious

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Jan 3, 2021
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The older I get the less I care about being able to watch a game on TV. Leagues should be wanting to make it easier for me to consume their product, not more difficult.

I guess the leagues are about the dollars, and it doesn't matter if the dollars come from thousands of individual fans and the TV advertisers, or one content distributor.
Not to mention all the websites and apps to watch things free anyway.
 

NDallasRuss

HR Legend
Dec 5, 2002
32,297
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Ultimately i see teams/leagues alienating their fan base.

Prices have gotten out of control to attend an in person event. There is only so much people are willing to do to keep up with their favorite teams.

I know for college basketball, when the pre-season games were not on tv, or if i have to pay extra to watch, this sets the tone for the season. When fans realize its not that big of a deal to miss a game, that usually translates to missing more games. I also think kids are not as into watching sports as they used to be.
Along with the affordability, I think leagues/teams are ruining the biggest thing they had keeping a fan base - peoples' crazy tribal allegiances to anything with their city's name on it.

Every time a team moves, it reinforces how little they care about the fans and how loyalty only goes one way.
 
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billanole

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Mar 5, 2005
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The older I get the less I care about being able to watch a game on TV. Leagues should be wanting to make it easier for me to consume their product, not more difficult.

I guess the leagues are about the dollars, and it doesn't matter if the dollars come from thousands of individual fans and the TV advertisers, or one content distributor.
Truth.
The leagues should also be giving kids hats and jerseys, not jacking them up.