Satellite broadcaster DirecTV says it will simulcast Apple’s Major League Soccer (MLS) television package to business customers.
The partnership means MLS Season Pass, which is exclusive to Apple TV Plus, will be accessible through DirecTV satellite for 300,000 bars, restaurants, hotels and other DirecTV for Business subscribers.
“DirecTV for Business boasts an unrivaled nationwide network of more than 300,000 venues where local sports fans gather who count upon us to deliver the very best in live action,” Rob Thun, the chief content officer at DirecTV, said in a statement on Thursday. “We welcome the addition of MLS Season Pass to an already market-leading lineup of sports properties that our commercial customers can continue to receive seamlessly through their existing satellite equipment and offer to their patrons.”
As more sports content shifts to streaming, some commercial establishments have voiced concerns that their establishments lack the necessary online bandwidth and equipment to reliably screen live events to their patrons.
Last year, DirecTV stepped in to simulcast Amazon’s telecasts of Thursday evening National Football League (NFL) games after Amazon and the NFL heard similar concerns from business owners.
The new deal between DirecTV, Apple and MLS takes effect with the start of the MLS season on February 25. DirecTV for Business customers can find MLS matches on Channels 9475 to 9490.
Residential DirecTV customers, including those who subscribe to DirecTV Stream, won’t be able to watch MLS games through the satellite and streaming provider. Instead, residential DirecTV customers will have to sign up for Apple TV Plus to watch live MLS games.