Apple seals landmark 10-year deal for Major League Soccer

  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has hit a TV streaming milestone, securing a landmark 10-year media rights deal with Major League Soccer.
  • That marks the first major U.S. sports league to dedicate itself to a digital media name.
  • And the deal departs from the norm in other ways: Apple isn't paying a straight rights fee for the package, but rather will pay a minimum guarantee worth $250 million per year starting next year, according to Sports Business Journal.
  • MLS is still talking with linear TV networks including ESPN (DIS) and Fox (FOX) (FOXA), but those games wouldn't be exclusive but rather simulcast with Apple .
  • Meanwhile, another revenue stream will come as Apple sells into a new MLS subscription offering. That service would live within the Apple TV app and include every game, including ones that were part of national TV packages (on ESPN, Fox and Univision) as well as locally aired individual team deals.
  • It may be a bit of a dam breaking in digital sports, as leagues and conferences have spent years trying to pry more investment out of big digital media names.