Apple to introduce ads for Major League Soccer streaming

Apple is set to introduce advertising into its streaming TV service by building an ad network for live transmission of Major League Soccer next year, according to a report by Bloomberg.

According to the report, Apple is in talks with advertising partners and MLS sponsors in advance of its launch of live coverage of MLS games next February.

Ads would be streamed during games and related shows, according to the report.

Apple agreed a 10-year rights deal with the US MLS organisation to broadcast domestic matches globally in June.

The deal, which will come into play from 2023, is worth US$2.5 billion over the 10-year period.

Through the Apple TV app, the iPhone maker will broadcast all MLS and Leagues Cup matches, along with select MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT matches.

Availability will vary based on the user. Apple TV users will be presented with “a limited number of matches available for free”, while “a broad selection of MLS and Leagues Cup matches, including some of the biggest matchups” will be open to Apple TV+ subscribers.

To watch every match in the league, viewers will need to purchase an MLS full-season ticket package.

The introduction of ads as part of Apple’s TV offering – albeit restricted for now to live sports – is part of a wider move to tap advertising revenue.

In October the company introduced new advertising placements for apps in its App Store, and Bloomberg has previously reported that the tech giant plans to introduce search ads in its Maps app on the iPhone from next year.

Apple currently generates about US$4 billion annually from advertising but aims to grow this revenue stream substantially.

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