Lionel Messi effect: Apple CEO Tim Cook tweets as MLS subscribers skyrocket

Apple CEO Tim Cook has tweeted after soccer icon Lionel Messi's arrival ignited a tremendous surge in MLS season pass subscribers.

| Updated on: Aug 11 2023, 14:33 IST
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi's arrival doubles MLS season pass subscribers. (AP)
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi's arrival doubles MLS season pass subscribers. (AP)

The "Messi Magic" is proving to be a game-changer for MLS Season Pass, as it has logged a remarkable surge in subscribers following the entry of soccer icon Lionel Messi into the league. The exponential growth has been confirmed by Inter Miami club owner Jorge Mas, who shared the news via a tweet.

It has been a big triumph for Apple CEO Tim Cook who as the strategic venture into sports broadcasting is reaping significant rewards, highlighted by the expanding popularity of the MLS Season Pass offering. This boost has been largely facilitated by Lionel Messi's move to Inter Miami after leaving Paris Saint-Germain. The effect has been so good that CEO Tim Cook took to Twitter to post, "Tune in tomorrow to watch Messi and all the Leagues Cup action with #MLSSeasonPass on @AppleTV."

While Apple doesn't disclose precise figures, CEO Tim Cook acknowledged Messi's positive influence during the recent earnings call, expressing enthusiasm for the unexpected uptick in subscribers. Cook stated, “We're surpassing our subscriber expectations, and Messi's presence at Inter Miami has undoubtedly contributed to this success. We're thrilled about it.”

The Messi Effect

Jorge Mas, the Managing Owner of Inter Miami, reported that MLS Season Pass subscriptions have more than doubled since Messi's arrival at the club. Additionally, Spanish-speaking viewership has exceeded 50% during Messi's matches, underscoring his impact on both domestic and international audiences.

Diversifying Fanbase and Global Reach

In addition to announcing the doubling of the subscriber base, Jorge Mas emphasized the growing fanbase for Spanish-language streams on MLS Season Pass. Every MLS game is broadcast in both English and Spanish, each with its own dedicated commentary team. The fact that over half of viewers during Messi's matches prefer the Spanish stream suggests that Messi is significantly expanding the league's international and US reach.

Record-Breaking Viewership and Subscriber Surge

Apple had previously announced that MLS Season Pass set new viewership records three times during the week of Messi's debut matches. Industry insiders had hinted that MLS Season Pass was on the cusp of reaching 1 million subscribers before Messi's arrival. Given this, the revelation of doubled subscribers now suggests that MLS Season Pass boasts over 2 million paying members.

The pricing for MLS Season Pass stands at $14.99 per month, with a discounted rate of $12.99 per month for Apple TV+ subscribers. A full season pass can be purchased for $99, or $79 for Apple TV+ subscribers. Moreover, Season Ticket Holders receive a complimentary access pass to MLS Season Pass.

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First Published Date: 11 Aug, 13:38 IST