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Major League Soccer’s relationship with Apple TV+ could result in a string of soccer documentaries, with the production house behind Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” onboard for the effort.
The deal between MLS and Apple has the streaming service hosting games from the league over the next ten years, with other content beyond matches expected to arrive in tow. According to the league’s management, it may involve a lot more non-live content.
The league is in the middle of building “shoulder programming” for the Apple TV+ Season Pass, referring to other content that subscribers can watch. For the moment, it consists of brief vignettes, but other plans are in the works, reports The Athletic. In an interview with MLS commissioner Don Garber, it is pointed out that there is a partnership with Box to Box Productions to create a documentary series.
Box to Box is known for its work on “Drive to Survive” for Netflix, as well as the PGA Tour documentary “Full Swing,” and is also linked to an Apple TV+ documentary about Lewis Hamilton.
According to Garber, “Every team has the opportunity to do their own Drive to Survive,’ and have the largest technology and the most innovative consumer-facing company in the world provide the platform for that.”
Garber continued, “This is going to be a test for our teams. But I can assure you that the teams that are really, really good will create very innovative, exciting, globally interesting content, and that will drive subscribers.”
Teams have already tried to make their own documentaries in the past, including “We are LAFC” for ESPN+ and “The Union Way” by the Philadelphia Union on both YouTube and Season Pass.
Details about the deal between Apple and MLS remain largely unknown, but report sources believe that Apple has an “opt-out” clause to leave the agreement if Season Pass targets are not met.
Garber avoided confirming or denying the existence of the clause, insisting “We’ve never talked about what the specific terms (of the agreement) are, and we’re not going to talk about it now.” The commissioner added “I am wholeheartedly convinced that this company and our league are going to be together for a very long time.”