Apple Says It Will Expand Live TV Advertising With Major League Soccer Deal
Apple is building a live television advertising network as part of its deal to broadcast Major League Soccer games next year, according to people familiar with the matter. The company is holding talks with advertising partners and MLS sponsors ahead of next February’s launch about airing ads during soccer matches and related programs, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are confidential.
The move is part of Apple’s aggressive marketing push. The company’s ad unit makes about $4 billion (about Rs. 33,000 crore) a year, but it wants to increase that to double-digit billion dollars, Bloomberg News reported. That includes adding search ads to more apps, such as the maps service, early next year.
The tech giant recently struck a 10-year deal to stream MLS games through a new subscription service, and Apple TV+ streaming platform. The company will also stream a portion of the games for free to users of the Apple TV app.
Apple plans to run advertising on all three categories of the partnership: the dedicated package, the paid TV+ subscription, and the free TV app. The move represents an expansion of the company’s live TV advertising, which includes Major League Baseball games already airing on TV+.
Apple declined to comment.
Apple sees revenue from advertising at MLS games, in addition to subscription fees, as key to monetizing the MLS deal. The contract is estimated to be worth $250 million (roughly Rs. 2,050 crore) per season, or $2.5 billion (roughly Rs. 20,500 crore) over the next decade.
Todd Teresi, Apple’s vice president of advertising platforms, is leading the expansion of MLS ads. He recently oversaw the addition of additional advertising spots to the App Store, including one on the store’s front page.
It’s a counterintuitive move for Apple, both because it once prided itself on avoiding ad overload and because its recent privacy changes have slowed the marketing efforts of social media businesses. The company said its push for ads is unrelated.
The Cupertino, California-based company tests and delivers ads to apps and add-on services. Apple has other apps with frontends in the App Store, including its podcasts and book offerings. The company may also launch an ad-supported version of TV+, following in the footsteps of Netflix and Disney.
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