Soccer superstar Lionel Messi helped drive a surge in U.S. subscriptions to Apple and Major League Soccer’s streaming services ahead of his North American debut in July, according to The Wall Street Journal.
MLS Season Pass saw more than 110,000 new U.S. sign-ups on July 21, when the Argentine donned a pink jersey for his first match with Inter Miami, up from 6,143 the prior day, subscription analytics company Antenna found. That was a bigger jump than both the day MLS Season Pass became available and opening day of the season, notes the WSJ.
Apple—which has the exclusive rights to show MLS games and distribute MLS Season Pass—enjoyed a bump in subscriptions to its $6.99 a month Apple TV+ streaming service in July as well, Antenna found, making it the strongest month for new U.S. customers this year.
Messi’s arrival follows the launch of Apple and Major League Soccer’s 10-year partnership that began in early 2023. After the Leagues Cup tournament, Inter Miami will resume its regular season play on Sunday, August 20, against Charlotte FC. For more info about Inter Miami’s schedule, visit www.intermiamicf.com.
By the way, Apple has reduced the cost of its MLS Season Pass to US$29 for the rest of the season.
The subscription, which gives viewers access to every Major League Soccer game, now costs $14.99 per month or $29 for the rest of the 2023 season — a big drop from the original price tag of $99 per season. Meanwhile, Apple TV+ subscribers who sign up only pay $12.99 per month or $25 for the remainder of the season, compared to $79.