One of the most unique aspects of Apple’s MLS Season Pass is the plethora of value-added content that’s available to promote the league. As such, we decided to write about our first impressions of pre-season content on the streaming subscription app — all of which is currently available for free in front of the paywall. Plus, we include our initial opinions about what it’s like watching live MLS games on Apple.
MLS Season Pass first impressions
When World Soccer Talk reported the end of MLS on regional sports broadcasting networks several months ago, I had to admit that I was a little skeptical about the development. I worried about the possible lack of content, and the challenge to get more people subscribing to the games. In particular, my worry was that fans would miss out on seeing their local teams via television.
However, after spending a week using MLS Season Pass, my worries are slowly disappearing. After logging in to Apple TV’s website for the first time, I was blown away by all the content provided. And that’s not just for league-wide video content but for all 29 MLS clubs.
First look at MLS game broadcasts
Before we get to the team-specific content, first let me share my thoughts on what watching games is like on MLS Season Pass. As a bonus, Apple and MLS decided to broadcast some preseason games this past weekend, and here’s what I found:
Picture quality — Superb. At 1080p, the live game I watched looked like it was in HD. The new scorebug (pictured above) is simple but effective. And the Apple TV logo in the top right corner isn’t distracting at all. With the Apple logo on the screen, it makes the broadcast look very professional.
Viewing options — I joined the broadcast of the Orlando-New England friendly a few minutes late. Instead of being automatically thrown into the live game, MLS Season Pass offers you a chance to watch the game from the start. Or you can join the live broadcast. That’s music to the ears of soccer fans.
MLS Season Pass also allows you to select the language preference for the broadcast (see above screenshot).
Local radio broadcasts — The most revolutionary aspect of MLS Season Pass is the option to hear the local radio broadcast for the call of the game. On the Orlando against New England game, I was able to toggle between the MLS announcers, or the local, home radio broadcasters. Just like Apple’s technology, it’s simple to use and it works perfectly (pictured in screenshot below).
All you have to do is to click the radio icon in the bottom right corner of the screen, and then choose what option you want.
Overall, the audio and video quality on MLS Season Pass for the first game I watched was excellent.
If all of the MLS broadcasts can be as good as this, then this is fantastic news for soccer fans.
MLS Season Pass first impressions about video content
Diving back into the pre-season MLS video content that’s available, there are excellent features included such as highlights from the 2022 season. Plus, MLS Season Pass features memorable games from league history including the Red Wedding from 2016.
Additionally, there’s the incredible comeback playoff win by San Jose Earthquakes against LA Galaxy in 2003. Of course, there’s video features about the start of the MLS dynasty involving the early years of DC United.
You learn the history of all 29 clubs as St Louis City begins its existence in 2023. Also, you get drone flybys in all 29 MLS Stadiums, in addition to features about MLS Legends, and legacies from players who have played in MLS from Tony Meola and Carlos Valderrama to Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, and iconic world soccer stars David Beckham, Juan Pablo Angel, and Thierry Henry.
Guide to Major League Soccer
Team-specific content is perfect for fans
There is so much content available on MLS Season Pass from the league, individual teams, and their social media departments. With all 29 clubs, you need several days to scan through every single piece of video to watch on your computer, laptop, or any web-enabled device.
MLS Season Pass is the type of video content that MLS fans have been begging for since they became fans. And now, the MLS and Apple partnership delivers where previous broadcasters did not.
To me, the best part of MLS Season Pass is that there are no blackouts.
It’s a new era in producing sports league content, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. To learn more about MLS Season Pass, read the MLS FAQ for answers to frequently-asked questions.
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