By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, did I hear right that Apple is giving away the MLS Season Pass for free to anyone? Is no one watching this thing so they have to give it away? — Tommy, Burbank, California.
Tommy, Apple last year signed a 10-year agreement with MLS (Major League Soccer) that will make Apple TV+ the carrier of every live league match starting with the current season. Apple’s MLS Season Pass package will not only feature every live MLS regular season match, it will also include the entire playoffs and the Leagues Cup between MLS clubs and Mexico’s Liga MX. And there are no blackouts.
But there have been indications that the package is struggling to generate subscribers since the 2023 season began in February. Apple started the season offering a half dozen games for free every weekend but it cut that to two a few weeks ago. The thinking at the time was that more soccer fans might sign up if they had fewer free games to watch.
But now it looks like MLS and Apple are rethinking. The two are combining to offer a free one-month trial to MLS Season Pass for new and returning MLS Season Pass subscribers. You can redeem the free offer here.
There was considerable buzz online before the season started that the MLS Season Pass was priced too high. (Non-Apple TV+ subscribers can order the plan for $14.99 a month or $99 for the entire season. Apple TV+ subscribers can subscribe for $12.99 a month or $79 for the full season. An Apple TV+ sub costs $6.99 a month.) The free one-month trial, coming more than two months into season, would suggest subscriptions are indeed disappointing. Why would you give away a free month at this point of the season if you didn’t have to?
Note: The free offer expires on October 31. The current season ends on October 21.
It will be interesting to see what Apple does with MLS Season Pass after this first season. Chances are good that the company has an opt-out clause and it could seek an early exit in that 10-year deal if business doesn’t improve.
Tommy, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann