Apple is taking its MLS Season Pass seasonal subscription price and chopping it in half today (June 1). No, that's not a sign of any problems with the first year of Apple's soccer partnership — just a way to make this price make sense now that Major League Soccer is at the midseason point.
MLS Season Pass, which packs in every single game in the MLS calendar, drops in price from $79 to $39 for the rest of the season. Those without Apple TV Plus will now see a $49 fee and not a $99 fee. Month-to-month pricing ($14.99 for those without Apple TV Plus, $12.99 for those who subscribe) does not change.
Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of services, talked about the success of Apple and MLS as a tandem on a call with the press. Without giving specifics, he spoke to how Apple is positive about its subscriptions and viewership so far in the first year of a 10-year partnership.
Cue did specify that MLS Season Pass is "ahead of forecasting," before stating that Season Pass subscribers are very engaged with the content. Later in the call, he spoke to how Apple and MLS will continue to evolve the service, making changes on a frequent basis, as they hear from fans and team owners.
Analysis: Apple and MLS made the sports fan's dream
The Apple and MLS offer is amazingly simple, which is incongruous with the present state of streaming professional sports. Season Pass gives you every single game on one single streaming service, with zero blackouts for any kind.
Existing TV deals for the NFL live streams, as well as the MLB and other sports make such an offer seem impossible . But with the slow death of regional sports networks, I have some hopes that a company such as Amazon or Apple could bring an all-inclusive package to other sports, soon.
Oh, and Apple's MLS Season Pass and MLB Friday Night Baseball aren't just on Apple hardware, as the Apple TV app for Roku, Fire TV and Chromecast with Google TV also offers these streams.
However, Apple does sometimes roll out new features for just its hardware, such as the quad-box multiview for MLS and Friday Night Baseball that's available for Apple TV set-top boxes. I'm hoping this ability to watch multiple streams at once comes to Apple's tvOS writ-large, as the A15 Bionic chip powering phones as old as the iPhone 13 is fast enough that it should let me run multiple apps at once — or at least that's the vibe I get from using it.