Soccer player Lionel Messi caused the Apple TV+ and Major League Soccer (MLS) joint streaming service to skyrocket in new subscribers following his first match with Inter Miami CF.

On July 21st, when Messi played for his new team for the first time, MLS Season Pass received more than 110,000 new registrations in the U.S. alone (with worldwide data pending) compared to 6,143 the day before, according to analytics company Antenna. July saw the highest amount of new MLS subscribers of the year, and Antenna said the July 21st sign-ups were 280% higher than the league’s season start date.

Learn the benefits of becoming a Valuetainment Member and subscribe today!

About 15% of MLS Season Pass buyers also subscribed to Apple TV+ for an additional $12.99 per month, and about 50% of MLS pass buyers were already Apple TV+ subscribers.

Chief executive of Antenna, Jonathan Carson, found the rise in numbers remarkable despite analyzing such data for a living. “Sports are definitely star-driven but that has never before translated into an enormous subscriber bump,” he said. “There is only one Lionel Messi, so this was a very big moment for the sport in this country.”

(RELATED: The Messi Effect: How One Man Can Transform an Organization)

Apple TV+ owns exclusive rights to MLS content, and charges $6.99 for the MLS pass. Apple obtained the rights for $2.5 billion in 2022. Interestingly, Apple sought and received exclusive broadcasting or streaming rights to the content, which is usually sold by country or region.

“We are beating our expectation in terms of subscribers, and the fact that Messi went to Inter Miami helped us out there a bit,” Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged on the company’s earnings call for August.

It was announced that Messi would be joining the Inter Miami CF soccer club in May 2022. Because of this, they went from a valuation of about $500 million to $1.5 billion and from 900,000 followers to now 15 million on Instagram.

Add comment