MLS Season Pass from Apple TV is in its second season as the global streaming home for Major League Soccer. There are plenty of pros and cons about the streaming product, but how many people are watching MLS on Apple TV? We take a closer look to share what has been revealed thus far.

Answering the big questions on people watching MLS on Apple TV

How many people subscribe to MLS Season Pass?

Near the end of 2023, the Sports Business Journal reported that MLS Season Pass had hit 2 million subscribers. Not all of these subscribers paid the full $14.99 per month or the annual option of $99. At the time, the 2 million subscribers of MLS Season Pass included those who received it for free through T-Mobile promotion. Moreover, season ticket holders to MLS clubs received MLS Season Pass at no additional charge.

The number of paid subscribers to MLS Season Pass has never been revealed.

When Lionel Messi arrived at Inter Miami last July, the subscriber count for MLS Season Pass was nearly 1 million subscribers. Not long after his arrival, it was reported that the number surpassed one million subscribers.

This week, MLS EVP of Media executive Seth Bacon told the SportsPro podcast, “We were so far ahead of our targets at the middle of the year last year, and we were very pleased and then Messi showed up. We ended up double where we thought we’d be from the subscriber standpoint.”

Since the end of 2023, there’s been no indication how many of the 2 million subscribers have renewed for the 2024 season. Also, to date, T-Mobile is no longer offering MLS Season Pass for free.

Our Pick:

Includes: Every regular season game, MLS Cup Playoffs, Leagues Cup, & More
Sign Up
How many people are watching MLS games?

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services, speaking at the Soccerex Miami conference said, “We’ve had more than a million viewers to watch the biggest games this season. No one expected that.”

He didn’t specify how many people are actually watching those games on MLS Season Pass from Apple, and what those “biggest games” were. At that time, World Soccer Talk followed up with MLS to ask for specifics about those metrics Cue mentioned, which they weren’t willing to share.

It’s safe to say that Cue was alluding to the fact that some of the Leagues Cup games had more than one million viewers, but those were also televised live on TelevisaUnivision. For instance, Messi’s first game in the Leagues Cup was watched by 1.75 million people across Univision and TUDN.

Since MLS Season Pass launched, Apple and MLS have not shared any viewing numbers for any MLS game (or Leagues Cup) game on MLS Season Pass. The most recent iteration of MLS viewership on TV came from FOX’s coverage of the April 6, 2024 game between LAFC and the LA Galaxy. Just 211,000 viewers watched the game on the FOX network. It’s the second least-watched MLS game on FOX of all time (Atlanta vs Chicago Fire had 206,000 viewers the week prior).

What have been some of the biggest games on MLS Season Pass?

Like the subscriber counts, there is no telling which games have pulled the most viewers. While national and cable TV ratings are easy to access, Apple is the only entity that knows how many people watch each MLS Season Pass game. Apple even required MLS executives to sign NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) to keep the MLS Season Pass viewing numbers secretive.

The one clear thing is that Inter Miami games, particularly those involving Lionel Messi, are a driving force for the league. That much information is not overly surprising. Going back to Cue’s comments on MLS, he alluded to the fact the most popular games were those featuring Inter Miami.

“I lived in Miami 40 years ago,” Cue said. “And it’s always been, ‘Soccer is just around the corner.’ It’s not around the corner now – it’s here, it’s now. And everyone in the world now knows about MLS, everyone knows about Inter Miami, thanks to Messi and the work that the league is doing.”

Cue mentions that Messi is a driving force for the league. Therefore, Apple is, unsurprisingly, getting the most out of Messi’s appearance in Major League Soccer.

Are enough people watching MLS Season Pass on Apple TV?

Clearly, there is no indication of how many people are paying for MLS Season Pass. The subscribers took advantage of many of Apple’s promotions to build a subscriber base. Still, Apple and MLS both remain publicly confident in where MLS Season Pass stands.

MLS is still not near a subscriber threshold that would activate revenue sharing with Apple for all new subscribers to the platform.


Guide to Major League Soccer

Here are some resources to help you get the most out of MLS Season Pass!
TV Schedule: All the info on where and when to watch every game
Season Pass FAQ: We answer your questions about MLS Season Pass
Sign up: Learn how to subscribe to MLS Season Pass
Commentators: Check out who's calling the action for the MLS season
Android users Tips for fans Android users on how to watch MLS Season Pass