Both Apple and Major League Soccer (MLS) are tightlipped on sharing any metrics about viewership of its MLS Season Pass streaming service. In fact, no data has been made available since its launch. However, despite trying to keep performance numbers secret (even though streaming services such as Netflix do reveal numbers), we finally do have one metric to share. And that’s the MLS 360 viewership numbers for the MLS Season Pass whip-around show after its YouTube debut.
To date, since debuting MLS 360 on February 25, every episode of MLS 360 has been available on MLS Season Pass, as well as for free to Apple TV+ subscribers. However, for the MLS 360 broadcast on Saturday, May 20, the program was also made available for free to Apple TV and YouTube viewers.
The whip-around program shows live coverage from all of the MLS games on Saturday nights. Typically, that’s 4.5 hours of continuous coverage. The entertaining program captures all of the discussion points, goals and key incidents from every game.
Thus far, MLS 360 has been the hit of MLS Season Pass. But how did the MLS 360 viewership numbers do?
MLS 360 viewership numbers on YouTube
As of Sunday night, May 21, the live and on-demand broadcast of MLS 360 on YouTube was watched 19,682 times.
MLS 360’s 19,682 viewership number does not include how many people watched it on MLS Season Pass itself. So while it’s incomplete, it’s the first metric that has become available.
Since it is MLS 360’s first broadcast on YouTube, it’s difficult to give an apples-to-apples comparison. But one YouTube broadcast that could compare is the US Open Cup game between New England Revolution and Pittsburgh Riverhounds, on May 9. That single game was viewed 24,000 times on YouTube.
As for the broadcast of MLS 360 on YouTube, it was more convenient to watch it there. For instance, YouTube has an Android app. Plus YouTube is available across almost all platforms, making it far more accessible than Apple TV.
The only issue on the broadcast was during the commercial breaks. During that time, MLS 360 on MLS Season Pass shows ads from the advertising partners that Apple have signed. But during those same breaks on YouTube, the ads aren’t shown. So, instead, you get to watch three minutes of dead air with a picture of an empty studio. There’s got to be a better, more productive way to fill that time with something other than silence.
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