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Apple TV nabs Messi to supercharge MLS Season Pass – report

We didn’t think anything could top the Apple news coming out of WWDC this week, but it appears the company might have played a role in what, to some folks, will be an even bigger story than the launch of the Vision Pro headset.

According to a BBC report, Apple may have been influential in football star Lionel Messi’s pending move to the Major League Soccer Club Inter Miami.

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According to reporting from The Athletic, part of the deal to bring Messi to MLS could net the Argentina World Cup winner a percentage of the revenue Apple brings in from the MLS Season Pass streaming service, which is available exclusively on Apple TV+.

The report quotes a source saying “the league has gotten very creative with all of this” and that “everything is on the table.”

The report said: “Multiple sources involved in or briefed on the high-level league discussions said earlier this week that MLS and Apple have discussed offering Messi a share of the revenue generated by new subscribers to MLS Season Pass, the league’s streaming package on Apple TV+. Both sides view Messi’s potential involvement in Major League Soccer as a boon.”

The terms of the reported agreement have not been confirmed.

Last year Apple and MLS signed a 10-year $2.5 billion deal to be the exclusive broadcast partner of Major League Soccer through the MLS Season Pass service that lives within the Apple TV app.

It would make sense that Apple would welcome the added eyeballs that the world’s most celebrated and well-known player would bring to the proposition as it looks to build the audience. One report said Apple had an opt-out clause if subscriber numbers weren’t up to expectations, but the arrival of the game’s biggest name could allay any concerns.

This week, Apple also announced Apple TV+ will house making a docu-series about Messi’s World Cup appearances, that would also air on Apple TV. It’s possible that this deal could have additional benefits for camp Messi related to the yet-to-be-announced Miami move.

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