Apple’s deal with MLS includes an opt-out clause if enough people don’t subscribe

Home » Apple’s deal with MLS includes an opt-out clause if enough people don’t subscribe
Apple streaming all Major League Soccer games from next year


Apple and Major League Soccer (MLS) officially kicked off their 10-year partnership last weekend with MLS Season Pass. While everything seems to have gone according to plan for opening weekend on Apple TV, a new report from The Athletic includes a previously unknown tidbit on the deal between Apple and MLS: Apple can walk away at any point.

The deal between Apple and MLS is set to run for 10 years, and it gives Apple exclusive streaming rights to all MLS matches. According to this new report from The Athletic, however, the deal also includes an opt-out clause. This would allow Apple to “walk away from the agreement if the league doesn’t drive a certain number of subscribers.”

MLS’ deal with Apple is still in its infancy and specific terms of the pact have been hard to come by. Sources familiar with the arrangement, though, have suggested over the past few months that the league’s agreement with Apple contains an “opt-out” clause that allows Apple to walk away from the agreement if the league doesn’t drive a certain number of subscribers to Season Pass in a set timeframe. Garber did not confirm or deny such a clause.

When asked, MLS commissioner Don Garber neither confirmed nor denied the opt-out clause. He did, however, say that Apple and the MLS haven’t disclosed any specific terms of the deal with the public, and that’s not going to change:

“We’ve never talked about what the specific terms (of the agreement) are,” he said, “and we’re not going to talk about it now. It’s a 10-year partnership. We’re both very, very committed to that. I am wholeheartedly convinced that this company and our league are going to be together for a very long time.”

It’s not necessarily surprising that there’s an opt-out clause in the deal between Apple and MLS. After all, Apple is one of the most powerful companies in the world. This tidbit, however, reveals just how important of an agreement this Apple deal is for MLS.

MLS Season Pass is available through the Apple TV app. Pricing is $14.99 per month or $99 per season. The service offers unrestricted access to all 2023 Major League Soccer games.

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