Now that Apple have secured a ten-year partnership with the MLS (Major League Soccer), the tech giants are reportedly eyeing up a possible deal with the Premier League to broadcast games, once the current Premier League coverage deal expires in 2025.
In the days leading up to the 2022 Qatar World Cup, Apple announced their new partnership with the main league in the USA – the MLS. Titled the MLS Season Pass, the new subscription service offers full-access to every MLS fixture through the Apple TV app.
I’m sure we can all agree that the MLS is far from the best league in the world, but it’s only growing bigger with every passing season and the beginning of its ten-year partnership with Apple, aims to bring the MLS to a wider audience.
The package offers every single MLS fixture within one subscription. The layout seems very simple and something that would make a lot of sense in the UK, given our current model of watching Premier League games.
In the UK it’s different, the Premier League is spread across Sky Sports, BT Sports and Amazon Prime. Many aren’t lucky enough to have a subscription to all three platforms, which leads to the use of illegal streaming sites becoming more popular.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Apple have made their intent clear, to further expand into football coverage with the Premier League being their next stop.
With the current Premier League deal due to expire in 2025, new talks may be heard later this year with Apple very keen to get at least a slice of the deal.
Considering Apple’s partnership with the MLS covers ten seasons and is reportedly valued at $2.5 billion USD, it’s unlikely that Apple will get the rights to play every Premier League fixture as its current rights package is more than double that of the MLS deal for only three years of partial coverage.
Another aspect that’ll prove to be tricky is the fact that Sky Sports have held Premier League broadcast rights since 1992 and I doubt they’re willing to give those up without a fight.
As beneficial it would be for so many to have an all-in-one streaming platform for the Premier League, I think it’s a lot more likely that it would operate like the way Amazon Prime do it – showing a handful of fixtures now and then, often around the Christmas period.
As it’s only a matter of time until the Premier League’s current coverage deal expires, expect to hear more as the new year progresses.