MLS Season Pass – Soccer has grown in popularity in the United States during the last decade, thanks to advancements in the World Cup.
Major League Soccer (MLS), its domestic league, has also played an important role in putting one of the world’s most popular sports into the forefront for Americans.
It has been in the works for years, and the MLS Season Pass will see the sport evolve even further in 2023.
The MLS Season Pass studio facility at Park Avenue and 106th Street in Manhattan had not been set up two months earlier.
The aim was met owing to a collaboration between MLS and Apple that worked with a timeframe in mind: February 25, the start of the 2023 MLS season.
At a season-launch ceremony on Wednesday, MLS Commissioner Don Garber stated:
“I love this expression: no pressure, no diamonds. If you don’t put yourself to task, then you’re never going to be able to achieve the impossible.”
The event was hosted in a location that will soon be home to MLS 360, a new whip-around program that will give live look-ins, commentary, and discussions for every match.
There are also distinct studios for pregame and postgame programs that begin and end each match night, employing cutting-edge technology, capabilities, and designs.
“It’s been 27 years of waiting for this moment, to see this studio, to see MLS be put on the forefront,” said Taylor Twellman, an MLS Season Pass match analyst.
“I think all of us need to be reminded of how monumental today is and what this season’s going to be because I’ve never seen a studio like this.”
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The MLS Season Pass is a one-of-a-kind product that provides fans with a constant venue to watch the regular season, Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, and Leagues Cup.
Before, games were carried on local or regional television.
Because of MLS’s connection with Apple, they may now watch internationally on Apple TV.
The matches, however, will not be exclusive to Apple because there are still traditional partners that show certain games, including:
- FOX Sports
- TelevisaUnivision (Leagues Cup matches)
MLS Season Pass schedules have also been adjusted to roughly 7:30 p.m. local time on Saturdays and occasionally Wednesdays.
A new age
“Someone shared with me awesome insight, that an MLS executive recently said how baseball was born on the radio, football on TV, and soccer is being born now in the age of digital streaming,” said Jillian Sakovits, one of the MLS Season Pass hosts.
Additional figures for the MLS Season Pass include:
- MLS Season Pass broadcaster Maurice Edu
- MLS Commissioner Don Garber
- Deputy Commissioner Gary Stevenson
- MLS Season Pass Broadcaster Taylor Twellman
“We are playing in the global game and we’re not yet the global league that we want to be,” said Garber.
“And what better way to do that than with a global digital partner that is ubiquitous around the world?”
“It’s just starting, and I can tell you what it’s like to have our clubs talk to a player from Argentina or from Brazil or from Croatia or from England and know that you’ll be able to deliver a game directly to one of their fans with the click of a button,” he continued.
“That is perhaps the most exciting part of this new partnership.”
The MLS has expanded its roster to 29 clubs for the forthcoming season, with St. Louis City SC making its debut.
Last Wednesday, Don Garber stated that San Diego and Las Vegas are potential candidates for the 30th franchise, as they have in past years.
He also stated that they will make an announcement by the end of the year, emphasizing that there is a chance to expand beyond 30 clubs.
“I don’t ever say never in Major League Soccer,” said Garber. “There are many other markets that are opportunities for us.”
“Soccer is exploding professionally everywhere on the professional side, on the men’s and women’s side. So we’ll see.”
Image source: Portland Timbers