Footy broadcasting - What do we have?

Sandwich Pick

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Didn't realize there was an even higher bid. Looks like NBC gave superstar money to a superstar talent, so to speak.

Makes sense that they probably aren't paying much more for PL rights going forward then they were for the NHL and the PL combined the last few years. (Was the NHL a flat rate of 200m per year or the average?)

https://awfulannouncing.com/nbc/nbc-may-have-overpaid-to-retain-the-premier-leagues-rights-but-it-couldnt-afford-not-to.html?fbclid=IwAR0zN7fTQ4VXfxOq8Lp-jRHkbUAOWGof57BBZIIAh0mQFOiRCIFWnZGje5w
 

Titans Bastard

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Senator Donut

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Grant Wahl says Turner Sports has won the USSF rights currently held by ESPN and Fox. These rights were previously negotiated jointly with MLS through SUM. The games are mostly men’s and women's’ friendlies, as USA will not need to qualify for 2026.

Turner’s last stint with soccer rights was a disappointing and it was abandoned during the COVID pause. However, that was under the disastrous AT&T management. Turner and Warner are about to join the Discovery media family which is heavily invested in sports overseas, but not in America yet.

View: https://twitter.com/grantwahl/status/1498424713575604233
 

Warning Track Speed

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And no local blackouts, apparently! This would be a very welcome development.
Can anyone confirm whether this was the case for MLS this past weekend? No blackouts? I got on the ESPN+ chat function Friday night to ask which clubs will be blacked out for me. You'd think they never got the question before, but the guy fiddled around a bit and eventually told me Portland and Colorado games would be blacked out for me (Montana). I didn't look for the Rapids game, and the Timbers were on national TV so the blackout wouldn't apply. I think last year Seattle was blacked out for me too, though, and I did have the SEA/NSH game on + last night.
 

Titans Bastard

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Can anyone confirm whether this was the case for MLS this past weekend? No blackouts? I got on the ESPN+ chat function Friday night to ask which clubs will be blacked out for me. You'd think they never got the question before, but the guy fiddled around a bit and eventually told me Portland and Colorado games would be blacked out for me (Montana). I didn't look for the Rapids game, and the Timbers were on national TV so the blackout wouldn't apply. I think last year Seattle was blacked out for me too, though, and I did have the SEA/NSH game on + last night.
The no blackouts statement from Garber was about the next TV deal, which will begin in 2023. I would expect there to continue to be local blackouts for many teams this season.
 

Warning Track Speed

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Ack, thanks TB. Blackouts are a sore subject for me--I live hundreds of miles from the nearest pro sports city, yet multiple teams are always blacked out. I get it, the regional sports networks, but still. In the NHL on + I get zero Kraken (600 miles), Avalanche (800 miles), or Golden Knights (900 miles?!?) games.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Things are about to get more complicated in Canada. Currently the EPl, Serie A, CL and assorted other smaller European leagues are available on DAZN. It’s not cheap - about $20 a month but it’s good quality and one stop shopping. They also have the NFL and rugby and boxing and all the premier league studio shows - so no real complaints over what’s offered.

Sadly the EPL rights have been acquired by FuboTV - another streaming service. Unfortunately it looks like DAZN will retain the UEFA rights for another couple of years. So my soccer bill is about to double. And FuboTV doesn’t have an App for most smart TVs

Grrrrrrr
 

teddykgb

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Fubo has an iOS, google play, googletv and Roku app — its the only tv service I have I can’t imagine you’ll struggle to get fubo on any modern tv
 

SocrManiac

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Sadly not on my LG. I have Roku as well so I can always use that. That’s what I use for the MLB app as well.
I love everything about my LG OLED except their app store and apps. Just inexcusably awful with a screen that gorgeous. I can get by on some things like Plex, YouTube and YouTube TV, but just about everything else goes through a FireTV Stick.
 

Senator Donut

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Apollo Global Management has offered Liga MX a 10-figure amount for 20% of its international television revenue. Currently each club sells its international rights in the United States on its own, creating a patchwork of networks to cover the product on American television. Even playoff games are at the mercy of the home team, so there can’t even be a blowout promotion of the championship matches until they know which teams will be playing and in what order.

Despite all this, Liga MX is the most-watched soccer league in the United States.

View: https://twitter.com/novy_williams/status/1526199916065959936
 
Jul 15, 2005
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according to Richard Deitsch, Peter Drury will replace Arlo White next season Peter Drury to replace Arlo White as NBC’s lead Premier League announcer: Source - The Athletic

edit: guess DailyMail had it first SPORTS AGENDA: England stars Mason Mount and Phil Foden enjoy a pit-stop in Monaco | Daily Mail Online
for Peacock subscribers and watch PLTV, this is interesting
Agenda readers will recall that the Premier League recently renewed their partnership with broadcasting arm Premier League Productions, despite the latter cutting hours and laying off a number of staff.

Now, club officials have been left astounded after being asked to film their own content and share it with PLP, part of the global IMG group. ‘Outrageous,’ said one well-placed source. ‘They get rid of staff and then start asking us to do their work for them.’
 
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SocrManiac

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Woah... I'm torn...

Drury might be the best in the business, but there was something familiar and natural about Arlo. Can't I have both?
 

Kliq

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Woah... I'm torn...

Drury might be the best in the business, but there was something familiar and natural about Arlo. Can't I have both?
I'm in the same boat, Drury is great but I personally associate Arlo's voice with the biggest EPL games. The story in The Athletic just says that Drury is now the #1 guy for NBC, not necessarily that White is no longer going to be apart of NBC's coverage. Unless it was a contract dispute, I can't imagine why NBC would wouldn't want him around.
 
Drury might be the best in the business
Is that a commonly held opinion? I used to like Drury more before I become over-exposed to his work - in addition to have an unfortunately Sean McDonough-like tendency to lose his voice when he gets overly excited, Drury's brand of quippery can get very grating for me. It's like he never met a piece of wordplay he didn't like, and some of his cliches would make even Jim Nantz blush. He's still well above 50th percentile, but I wouldn't put him in my top tier.
 

SocrManiac

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Who else is left, really? Martin Tyler is way past it. I pegged Drury above Arlo, but there just ain't a lot in the top tier.
 
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with the world feed on PL Productions, Drury got to call the biggest match. With NBC, he gets the late game every Saturday, which may or may not be the biggest match of the weekend.

Would Jim Proudfoot be elevated to the top match on the world feed?
 
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Who else is left, really? Martin Tyler is way past it. I pegged Drury above Arlo, but there just ain't a lot in the top tier.
I tend to think the commentators employed by BBC, Sky and BT Sports are the top tier. Next tier down would be the cast employed by PL Productions, and then the radio commentators (BBC 5 Live and TalkSport)

I miss the early days when Steve Bower did part time pbp for NBC
 

coremiller

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Nooooooooooo! I like Arlo and I absolutely loathe Peter Drury. He's always trying way too hard, he's not nearly as clever as he thinks he is, and he makes his commentary the center of attention rather than letting the game speak for itself.
 

Catcher Block

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If this means Arlo White was poached by Fox for (among other things) World Cup and USMNT matches, I can get behind that change. I am not a fan of Stu Holden on those calls.

I really enjoyed his NBC work, though. He fit the serious-but-not-too-serious vibe given off by the rest of the broadcast and the EPL-adjacent programming.
 

blueline

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I'm guessing I'm in the minority here, but I've always disliked Arlo White's commentary. He seems to overreact a lot and overemphasizes the drahhhhma of every moment.
 

Kliq

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If this means Arlo White was poached by Fox for (among other things) World Cup and USMNT matches, I can get behind that change. I am not a fan of Stu Holden on those calls.

I really enjoyed his NBC work, though. He fit the serious-but-not-too-serious vibe given off by the rest of the broadcast and the EPL-adjacent programming.
Something about Arlo that I liked (and this can be said for most of the NBC crew) is that they generally embraced the fact that they were working for an American company and understood the culture, and were not dismissive of it, nor did they dumb down the broadcasts for American casuals.
 

Zososoxfan

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Drury and White are both awesome. If they're calling games I'm watching, I'm happy. USMNT seems to get fairly poor broadcasters. I've found ESPN's La Liga coverage to be knowledgeable, but also poor broadcasting value at times. Hopefully with Barca on the upswing I'll be more inclined to watch more.
 
Who else is left, really? Martin Tyler is way past it. I pegged Drury above Arlo, but there just ain't a lot in the top tier.
With the caveat that I don't watch nearly as much football as I used to, my top tier (in no particular order) probably consists of:
  • Guy Mowbray (BBC)
  • Steve Wilson (BBC)
  • Clive Tyldesley (ITV)
  • Darren Fletcher (BT Sport)
  • Martin Tyler (Sky Sports)
  • Jon Champion (ESPN)
Rob Hawthorne (Sky Sports) is also very close to being on this list, but it's those six guys who make me happy to listen to a match as well as watching it. I get why people are down on Martin Tyler, but he gets an emeritus position from me in the same way that someone like Vin Scully did in baseball, and I don't think he's dropped off as much as many people seem to think he has. Mowbray and Wilson are both uniformly excellent for the Beeb, with Jonathan Pearce at the opposite end of the BBC's spectrum. (Pearce initially struck me as a breath of fresh air when he was calling matches on Capital Gold radio back in the 1990s, where he was the #1 to Wilson's #2, but now he strikes me as little more than a braying, technophobic troglodyte.) Tyldesley is hardly on my radar at all these days given ITV's lack of matches and their truly regrettable decision to promote Sam Matterface over him, but he was still excellent at the Euros last year and formed a hilarious partnership with Ally McCoist. Fletcher has been great on BT Sport, not least given some of the questionable analyst partners he's been made to work with. And I'm sure you'll understand why I rate Champion's work so highly, although I rarely get to hear him these days. (Are you guys familiar with commentators like Mowbray, Wilson, Tyldesley and Fletcher?)

I've already explained my issues with Drury (I'm on the same page with @coremiller); as for Arlo, being based in the UK I rarely get to hear him either, but a) he never particularly stood out from the pack when he was calling football matches over here - I suspect he is appreciated much as he is in the US because of the much lower bar he has to clear. And b) I'll admit to also being influenced by his particularly unfortunate spell as a cricket commentator on Test Match Special, the BBC's flagship radio program, in which he came across as a bit of a smarmy know-it-all who didn't actually know it all by any means; he was critically panned and then bascially sacked from that role, if memory serves, and I believe that led to him fleeing for the States.
 
By the way, writing that post made me go back and listen to my own commentary from the AC Milan v Juventus game I got to call back in the 2017/18 season alongside Lee Hendrie...

View: https://vimeo.com/240356413

View: https://vimeo.com/240356566

...and man, I wonder where I myself would rank amongst the current set of English-speaking soccer commentators in North America. (I've basically been blocked from calling football matches over here - DAZN Canada took me off soccer duty after getting viewer feedback that strongly preferred English and Irish accents to American accents, although I gather they've largely stopped using their own voices and gone the world feed route to save money - but I've also been told by a commentary agent that soccer might be my most likely path to starting a broadcasting career in the US, if only I knew how to find an agent of my own who could help me down that path.)
 

Mighty Joe Young

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DAZN lost the EPL rights in Canada going forward so that’s a moot point anyways. But your point about English/Irish accents being preferred over American is probably true -I always find it kind of jarring when I hear American footie commentators. It’s like watching a movie where an English historical character has an American accent (Kevin Costner being exhibit A)

You have a very understated style - which probably explains your dislike of Drury (who is easily my favoured announcer ). The less said about the execrable Martin Tyler the better.

So - maybe this is too Inside Baseball for you to talk about. One of my pet peeves involves what appears to be the deliberate manipulation of the audio commentary so it’s ahead of the video. Basically the commentator calling the goal before it happens. It’s not by much - maybe a half second - but it IS pretty obvious when you experience it.
 
So - maybe this is too Inside Baseball for you to talk about. One of my pet peeves involves what appears to be the deliberate manipulation of the audio commentary so it’s ahead of the video. Basically the commentator calling the goal before it happens. It’s not by much - maybe a half second - but it IS pretty obvious when you experience it.
I'd be pretty surprised if this was ever done deliberately. I'm annoyed by it as much as you are when it happens, whether or not I personally am involved, but I've always assumed it was a case of the commentary audio unintentionally getting out of sync with the video, not any sort of attempt to make the commentators look good or anything like that.
DAZN lost the EPL rights in Canada going forward so that’s a moot point anyways. But your point about English/Irish accents being preferred over American is probably true -I always find it kind of jarring when I hear American footie commentators. It’s like watching a movie where an English historical character has an American accent (Kevin Costner being exhibit A)

You have a very understated style - which probably explains your dislike of Drury (who is easily my favoured announcer ). The less said about the execrable Martin Tyler the better.
I don't want to make this all about me - really, I'm more interested in hearing how others rate the more prominent commentators! - but my suspicion is that if all American soccer commentators used a similar style to mine, one which has been influenced by the many British commentators I've listened to down the years, North American listeners wouldn't have a problem with American-accented commentators. It's the guys who call soccer games like they're calling hockey games and the guys who come from other sports and patently lack appreciation for the nuances of soccer who give everyone else a bad name, not so much the accent itself. (And by the by, I sound plenty overstated when I'm calling hockey games!)
 

coremiller

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With the caveat that I don't watch nearly as much football as I used to, my top tier (in no particular order) probably consists of:
  • Guy Mowbray (BBC)
  • Steve Wilson (BBC)
  • Clive Tyldesley (ITV)
  • Darren Fletcher (BT Sport)
  • Martin Tyler (Sky Sports)
  • Jon Champion (ESPN)
Rob Hawthorne (Sky Sports) is also very close to being on this list, but it's those six guys who make me happy to listen to a match as well as watching it. I get why people are down on Martin Tyler, but he gets an emeritus position from me in the same way that someone like Vin Scully did in baseball, and I don't think he's dropped off as much as many people seem to think he has. Mowbray and Wilson are both uniformly excellent for the Beeb, with Jonathan Pearce at the opposite end of the BBC's spectrum. (Pearce initially struck me as a breath of fresh air when he was calling matches on Capital Gold radio back in the 1990s, where he was the #1 to Wilson's #2, but now he strikes me as little more than a braying, technophobic troglodyte.) Tyldesley is hardly on my radar at all these days given ITV's lack of matches and their truly regrettable decision to promote Sam Matterface over him, but he was still excellent at the Euros last year and formed a hilarious partnership with Ally McCoist. Fletcher has been great on BT Sport, not least given some of the questionable analyst partners he's been made to work with. And I'm sure you'll understand why I rate Champion's work so highly, although I rarely get to hear him these days. (Are you guys familiar with commentators like Mowbray, Wilson, Tyldesley and Fletcher?)

I've already explained my issues with Drury (I'm on the same page with @coremiller); as for Arlo, being based in the UK I rarely get to hear him either, but a) he never particularly stood out from the pack when he was calling football matches over here - I suspect he is appreciated much as he is in the US because of the much lower bar he has to clear. And b) I'll admit to also being influenced by his particularly unfortunate spell as a cricket commentator on Test Match Special, the BBC's flagship radio program, in which he came across as a bit of a smarmy know-it-all who didn't actually know it all by any means; he was critically panned and then bascially sacked from that role, if memory serves, and I believe that led to him fleeing for the States.
In the U.S., we get Tyldesley as one of CBS's two main Champions League commentators, along with Drury. I much prefer him to Drury. I don't think we get to hear Mowbray, Wilson, or Fletcher.

Of the current batch I've heard, I think Champion is the best. He calls all the USMNT games on ESPN and he's very good, especially since he's usually saddled with Taylor Twellman as a partner. He can occasionally go off on poetic flights of fancy like Drury does but he usually doesn't overdo it. From what I've heard of Tyler, I think he used to be the best but he's getting up there and he's slipped some from his peak.

In the US, Fox's lead commentator for the USMNT and the World Cup is John Strong, an American, and while he's not the best I think he's fine (in a more American style than your Tylers and Champions). He doesn't grate on me; I'd much rather have Strong than Drury. We've come a long way in the U.S. from Dave O'Brien and Gus Johnson.
 

67YAZ

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The Fire’s Tyler Terens has grown on me, in no small part because it’s really clear how hard he works to improve. But he’s good and will have a great career because he is both American and a true soccer person. Terens grew up playing (up through Div II college ball) and watching broadcasts of European matches. He cut his teeth doing live commentary for low level matches streaming online (by his estimate he was doing 500 matches a year from a studio booth in Phoenix to call all manner of high school, college, semi pro, and independent clubs).

All this is to say that Terens is on the front edge of a wave of American soccer commentators who know the sport & deliver a natural yet distinctly US-ian style. The infrastructure is now here for it - people play the sport for years at high competitive levels, they can climb the broadcasting ranks from streaming local matches to MLS clubs. It will probably take a while since turnover in the commentators ranks is usually slow, but I’ll be interested to see who Fox taps up for the first round of the WC. In theory, they could bring in MLS folks dying the winter.

I’d also be interested in reading about how Spanish speakers think about Spanish language commentators.
 
Jul 15, 2005
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View: https://twitter.com/arlowhite/status/1532477298208825377?s=20&t=CoWHgg9zWPLpcFnSxZJg9g


one thing I'll add is that as much as Arlo White was "the" voice for NBC, their coverage is also the sum of all the commentators from the world feed. For nine seasons we've been able to get both Drury and Arlo throughout each season and that wasn't a bad thing. Now we just get one of them (unless Arlo heads over to the world feed, and he ends up on NBC airwaves anyways - that would be fun)
 

allstonite

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A few days late but I’ll greatly miss Arlo. He was perfect for the American audience. I hate fox soccer coverage but I hope he winds up their for the World Cup at least.

edit: I agree NBC was the sum of the parts. Rebecca Lowe is incredible, the 2 Robbie’s are fine, and I enjoyed Kyle Martino in small doses.
 

SocrManiac

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Wow, that's shocking. They must be wrapping him up at money. I follow him on Instagram- it's clear he's a footy megafan and he was living a dream.
 

67YAZ

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Oh, I thought it was going to be something really salacious. What Arlo said is pretty true - Sandalow published a piece on Tuesday calling out Arlo for taking Saudi money and arguing the Fire should dump him....and he used this as an opportunity to retweet a link to that story.

Neither of our local papers puts much into soccer coverage. Sandalow does game reports for the White Sox & Cubs in addition to Fire coverage. He's almost always very critical of the Fire. At the Trib, Jeremy Mikula writes about both the Fire and Red Stars, but he's really young and clearly just cutting his teeth on a low priority beat.

All that to say, I don't think Mansueto is sweating what Brian Sandalow is writing. Mansueto got WGN to broadcast all the matches and recruited Arlo because the goal is for the Fire to be a big club with a national fan base. Obviously, winning some matches would help with that, but Manseuto isn't going to pull the plug on the most recognizable voice in American soccer unless there is an intense, sustained reaction. Or if it turns out Arlo puts ketchup on his hotdog.
 
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I tuned into to LIV Golf curious to see how Arlo would call golf. Seeing their branding and slogans, it seems like they wanted Arlo to be Arlo and that style fits the "excitement" they want to bring to golf (be the opposite of the traditional golf commentator)
 
I tuned into to LIV Golf curious to see how Arlo would call golf. Seeing their branding and slogans, it seems like they wanted Arlo to be Arlo and that style fits the "excitement" they want to bring to golf (be the opposite of the traditional golf commentator)
Not that I've watched very much of the LIV coverage - small sample size rules apply here - but from what I heard of Arlo's golf commentary, he sounds as out of his depth as he did when he was doing cricket commentary. (As noted above, that didn't end too well for him...)
 
Jul 15, 2005
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Not that I've watched very much of the LIV coverage - small sample size rules apply here - but from what I heard of Arlo's golf commentary, he sounds as out of his depth as he did when he was doing cricket commentary. (As noted above, that didn't end too well for him...)
wasn't necessary paying attention to the content, but the cadence is not the soft spoken Nantz or Golf Channel announcers
 

Senator Donut

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Big news, Apple and MLS just announced a partnership for every game exclusively with no blackouts worldwide (except tournament matches in Mexico). Likewise, that means no more local broadcasts. I've pasted the press release below, and I'll probably add some editorializing here once I find out more about what this means.

June 14, 2022
PRESS RELEASE

Apple and Major League Soccer to present all MLS matches around the world for 10 years, beginning in 2023

In a historic first for sports, fans can stream every single MLS match through the Apple TV app, without any local blackouts or restrictions

Cupertino, California Apple and Major League Soccer (MLS) today announced that the Apple TV app will be the exclusive destination to watch every single live MLS match beginning in 2023. This partnership is a historic first for a major professional sports league, and will allow fans around the world to watch all MLS, Leagues Cup,1 and select MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT matches in one place — without any local broadcast blackouts or the need for a traditional pay TV bundle.

From early 2023 through 2032, fans can get every live MLS match by subscribing to a new MLS streaming service, available exclusively through the Apple TV app. In addition to all of the match content, the service will provide fans a new weekly live match whip-around show so they never miss an exciting goal or save, and also game replays, highlights, analysis, and other original programming. This live and on-demand MLS content will provide in-depth, behind-the-scenes views of the players and clubs that fans love. A broad selection of MLS and Leagues Cup matches, including some of the biggest matchups, will also be available at no additional cost to Apple TV+ subscribers, with a limited number of matches available for free. As an added benefit to fans, access to the new MLS streaming service will be included as part of MLS full-season ticket packages.

The MLS live and on-demand content on the Apple TV app will be available to anyone with internet access across all devices where the app can be found, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV 4K, and Apple TV HD; Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony, TCL, VIZIO, and other smart TVs; Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices; PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles; Chromecast with Google TV; and Comcast Xfinity. Fans can also watch on tv.apple.com.

“For the first time in the history of sports, fans will be able to access everything from a major professional sports league in one place,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services. “It’s a dream come true for MLS fans, soccer fans, and anyone who loves sports. No fragmentation, no frustration — just the flexibility to sign up for one convenient service that gives you everything MLS, anywhere and anytime you want to watch. We can’t wait to make it easy for even more people to fall in love with MLS and root for their favorite club.”

“Apple is the perfect partner to further accelerate the growth of MLS and deepen the connection between our clubs and their fans,” said Don Garber, MLS’s commissioner. “Given Apple’s ability to create a best-in-class user experience and to reach fans everywhere, it’ll be incredibly easy to enjoy MLS matches anywhere, whether you’re a super fan or casual viewer.”

At launch, all MLS and Leagues Cup matches will include announcers calling the action in English and Spanish, and all matches involving Canadian teams will be available in French. Apple and MLS will also provide enhanced league and club coverage for fans to easily follow the league or their favorite clubs in Apple News, with the ability to watch highlights right in the News app.

Complete details for the new service, including when fans can sign up, subscription pricing, specific details about the new MLS programming, an improved match schedule, broadcast teams, production enhancements, and pre and postgame coverage — as well as all the ways fans will be able to enjoy MLS content across the Apple ecosystem — will be announced in the coming months.

Major League Soccer is the fastest-growing soccer league in the world, more than doubling in size to 29 clubs over the last 15 years. The momentum will continue as soccer will grow throughout North America on the road to the 2026 FIFA World Cup hosted by the US, Canada, and Mexico. With players representing 82 countries, MLS has the most global player pool in all sports, and its fan base is one of the youngest, most diverse audiences in North American sports.​