2023 sees the start of a new MLS on Apple TV era. Whether already an Apple TV user or someone now considering using the app to watch Major League Soccer, there are some things to be aware of, including the cost of MLS on Apple TV, what’s actually included, and the devices that MLS games will be available to watch on.
The agreement between MLS and Apple is a fairly big one as it does include access to every MLS regular season match, every MLS playoff and MLS Cup match, and also every Leagues Cup match. Not to mention, this is not specific to the US, with Apple’s deal making it possible to watch Major League Soccer live games and replays in more than 100 countries, and with no blackouts. In addition, all MLS and Leagues Cup matches will be available with English and Spanish commentary, while commentary on Canadian team matches will also be available in French.
One of the first things to be aware of is how the agreement between the MLS and Apple actually works in relation to Apple TV and Apple TV Plus, as although these Apple services are very similar, they are not the same. In short, while Apple TV Plus is the home to all of Apple’s original shows and movies, Apple TV is the home to everything movie and TV-related that Apple offers. This also means that even though MLS is an Apple exclusive going forward, it is still something that falls into the Apple TV camp and not Apple TV Plus.
Technically, some MLS content will be available to Apple TV Plus subscribers to watch for free, including select MLS and Leagues Cup matches. Not to mention, some matches will be available for free in general. For example, MLS returns on Saturday, February 25, and all matches during the “MLS is Back” weekend will be available to watch for free on the Apple TV app.
However, for comprehensive coverage of MLS, and all-season long, an MLS Season Pass will be required for both Apple TV users and Apple TV Plus subscribers.
How much is MLS on Apple TV?
As MLS is available through Apple TV, a standard Apple TV Plus subscription is not required. Instead, soccer fans can simply sign up for a standalone MLS Season Pass. If signing up on a monthly basis then the MLS Season Pass costs $14.99 per month in the United States. For those wanting to save on the cost, signing up on an annual basis costs $99 per season. Whether opting for a monthly or seasonal plan, subscriptions are available to purchase starting from February 1, 2023, on the Apple TV app.
Although an Apple TV Plus subscription is not required to watch MLS on Apple TV, it does pay to have one. More specifically, it helps to save on the cost, as existing Apple TV Plus subscribers are offered a discount on both monthly and season passes. For example, Apple TV Plus subscribers signing up to the MLS Season Pass on a monthly basis will pay $12.99 per month, a saving of $2 each month.
For those signing up on an annual basis, the cost is $79 per season, a saving of $20 on the non-Apple TV Plus cost.
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For those new to Apple TV Plus, the standard cost of a subscription is $6.99 per month, so it is only worth considering on top of the MLS Season Pass if the rest of the Apple TV Plus catalog is also of value to a home. For reference, Apple does also offer an annual Apple TV Plus plan which costs $69. In theory, a home could sign up for the $69 annual plan and then the discounted $79 annual MLS Season Pass for a total of $149 per year.
At this rate, the average monthly cost (based on12 months) breaks down to $12.49 per month, which is less than the monthly Apple TV Plus add-on price for MLS Season Pass.
It is also worth noting that any MLS season ticket holders are eligible for a free MLS Season Pass subscription. So long as it is a full-season ticket, the account holder will be able to claim one MLS Season Pass subscription as an added benefit. However, the account holder will only be able to claim one subscription in total and irrespective of how many full-season tickets might be tied to their account.
How to watch MLS on Apple TV
Regardless of how much MLS on Apple TV costs, a home will want to make sure there are no device support issues before signing up. Just like most other streaming services, Apple TV is limited in terms of device compatibility. Generally speaking, owners of an Apple device should have no issues with watching MLS, considering the Apple TV app is widely available on all of the company’s hardware products including Apple TV players, iPhone and iPad devices, as well as on the company’s various Mac and MacBook models.
To be honest, the Apple TV app is also fairly well-supported on third-party streaming devices these days. For example, the Apple TV app can be downloaded on Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices in addition to various smart TV models from Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony, and Vizio. Where some homes may run into issues is with devices powered by Android. At present, Android TV and Google TV streaming players like the Chromecast with Google TV are supported, as are select smart TVs powered by Google TV. However, other Android (including some Android TV) devices may find they are unable to download the app.
Of course, for those homes that do find that they currently don’t own a compatible smart TV or streaming player, it is possible to watch MLS on Apple TV directly through a web browser by visiting tv.apple.com. Providing the user has an Apple ID set up, and is paying for an MLS Season Pass, they will be able to access all of the MLS content directly through the Apple TV website.
MLS on Apple TV summary
The MLS returns on February 25, 2023, and the Apple TV app will be the home of all live matches, replays, and a wide variety of additional content, making access to a device that’s compatible with Apple TV a must for MLS fans. Although some matches and content will be available for free to all Apple TV app users (including all opening weekend games), and some additional content will be free to Apple TV Plus subscribers, a standalone $14.99/month (or $99/season) MLS Season Pass will be required to watch all of the soccer action as it unfolds during the season.
If already an Apple TV Plus subscriber, there is an additional discount available which reduces the monthly cost down to $12.99 per month (or $99 per season). Existing full-season ticket holders are also eligible for one free MLS Season Pass subscription as an additional benefit of their season ticket.