Apple is flying with MLS Season Pass, but the Premier League is set to miss out

Subscriber numbers are rocketing after big name stars – like Lionel Messi – joined the league

The MLS Season Pass logo, shown over an on-field battle between two players
(Image credit: Apple)

If you're a football fan, one of the best things about Apple TV is the MLS Season Pass. Starting earlier this year, the tech giant entered a ten-year partnership with the American top-tier, offering global broadcasts through their streaming service.

It's been a big success. While there are no official numbers just yet, a source close to the situation suggests it is approaching 1 million subscribers. That's up from around 700,000 in early June – likely due to the arrival of international superstars like Lionel Messi

It's not hard to see why, either. I caught a few games when the service was free-to-all for a weekend, and the quality is exceptional. Video footage is crisp and the commentary teams are entertaining without being overbearing. Oh, and don't believe what you hear about the quality of football either – the league has come on leaps and bounds of late, offering strong competition with elite players.

With the quality Apple has already demonstrated with the service, many have hoped to see something similar for the Premier League. That's notoriously difficult to watch, with broadcast spread across multiple platforms. Each of those platforms has it's own exorbitant fee, and even then, not every game is shown across them.

It's not hard to see why people want an Apple-esque platform to work some magic. Every single game, for one transparent fee – simple.

But it doesn't look like it's happening. That's according to the chief of Apple services, Eddy Cue, who spoke with the Daily Mail about the topic. His rationale is that they would only look to strike a deal which could be accessed globally, similar to the MLS Season Pass. Cue said, "We're a global company, we have customers in every country in the world, and it's not exciting for me to have something that you can have but you can't have."

It's a fair argument. One of the most appealing things about the MLS Season Pass from a user perspective is its simplicity. There's no worrying about hidden fees or geo-restrictions. You pay your set fee and go about your business.

That also works out well for Apple. Their global package allows them to market the product worldwide, without fears of interfering with licence holders in certain territories. Given the sheer volume of partners the Premier League has in different markets, it would take a drastic change to make a one-platform service viable.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.