Apple embraces potential of sports streaming with MLS deal

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. streaming / ˈstri mɪŋ / (n.) – the act of listening to music or watching a video directly from the internet

    You can watch any episode you want anytime through streaming.

  2. immerse / ɪˈmɜrs / (v.) – to completely involve someone in an activity

    The American professor immersed himself in the culture of the Japanese people.

  3. cord-cutting / kɔrd ˈkʌt ɪŋ / (n.) – the act of canceling a subscription to a telephone or cable TV service

    Cord-cutting began in telephones when mobile phones became cheaper.

  4. migrate / ˈmaɪ greɪt / (v.) – to shift from one system to another

    A lot of people migrated to online shopping because it’s more convenient.

  5. demographic / ˌdɛm əˈgræf ɪk / (n.) – a group of people that has a particular set of qualities, such as age, social class, etc.

    Sports shows are much more popular among the male demographic.


Read the text below.

After taking its first dip into sports streaming last year, Apple is now immersing itself.

The tech giant kicked off a 10-year partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS) with the launch of Season Pass on Apple TV+.

“This is very important for us. It is one of the key things we are doing this year and for the next 10 years. We’re now part of a family together,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during a presentation for MLS players, owners and media at Apple Park.

The Apple launch comes after a transformative year for sports and streaming services. The NFL further embraced streaming last year as Prime Video carried “Thursday Night Football,” and Major League Baseball partnered with Apple TV and Peacock to stream games. The NFL also reached an agreement with Google’s YouTube TV to carry the “Sunday Ticket” package beginning next season.

Tech companies and broadcast outlets likewise see the value of live sports programming. According to a recent report by Parks Associates, revenue from sports streaming subscription packages is expected to increase 73% to $22.6 billion in 2027 after generating $13.1 billion last year.

In the era of cord-cutting, tech companies, advertisers and sports leagues are also finding that younger viewers continue to migrate toward streaming and are watching for extended periods.

According to Amazon tracking data, 22% of “Thursday Night Football” viewers on Prime Video were in the coveted 18-34 age demographic, compared with 14% of viewers watching NFL games on linear networks.

The average viewing time for “Thursday Night” games was 85 minutes — nine minutes longer than games not on Prime.

Apple teaming with MLS makes sense for both parties. Various studies have found that soccer fans are more likely to watch sports on streaming devices or recorded TV.

MLS will receive at least $250 million per season from Apple. The league averaged $90 million per season under its previous eight-year agreements with Fox, ESPN and Univision.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The article mentions that we are in the era of cord-cutting. How do you think this affects businesses, such as telephone and broadcasting companies? Discuss.
  • What do you think broadcast companies can do to survive? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Various studies have found that soccer fans are more likely to watch sports on streaming devices or recorded TV. Why do you think this is the case? Discuss.
  • The article mentioned that the 18-34 age demographic is coveted. Why do you think so? In your opinion, what is the coveted age demographic of sports viewers in your country? Discuss.