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Sports fans are a dedicated bunch. Following your favourite team or franchise is often a full-time occupation, however, continuously travelling between stadiums isn’t always financially viable. As a result, supporters are always looking for different ways to catch every single minute of the action.
Although both linear TV channels and live betting sites do broadcast a wide range of live events, the majority of fans tend to prioritise their favourite teams and this can often lead to supporters spending hours searching for unreliable or potentially illegal streams.
The Premier League is the most-watched competition in the world and although fans based in Europe and the US were able to watch the game, there was uproar amongst UK supporters that a recent midweek clash between Manchester United and Leeds wasn’t shown on domestic TV, despite it being the only fixture taking place that week.
Sky’s current Premier League deal doesn’t include rearranged fixtures, and this is something that needs to be addressed when the current deal comes to an end in 2025.
Many UK football fans have branded the current package ‘archaic’ with suggestions that other competitions such as the MLS are far more forward-thinking in their approach.
Major League Soccer is constantly striving for improvement and with yet another franchise joining the league this season, more and more fans are beginning to follow the progress of their favourite clubs throughout the course of the campaign. They have recently signed a deal with tech giant Apple which will enable fans to watch EVERY single MLS match for the next ten years.
As well as being able to stream every match (including rearranged fixtures), fans can also access highlights, replays and analysis. The first set of fixtures, which takes place at the end of February, will also be streamed completely free.
The MLS have assembled a bespoke team of 80 knowledgeable broadcasters who will provide in-depth commentary in both English and Spanish and with vibrant new graphics packages to accompany the coverage, it promises to be one of the most informative and exciting advances in the league’s relatively short history.
The launch of MLS 360 is also set to coincide with the beginning of the 2023 season providing updates, discussion and highlights from every single stadium. This will be particularly handy towards the end of the season when the majority of matches kick off simultaneously.
All matches will be produced in-stadium, whereas a brand-new state-of-art broadcast facility in New York City will be responsible for live studio programming throughout the course of the campaign.
Although Sky’s Premier League coverage remains extremely professional, it often feels impersonal. With the MLS Season Pass, viewers can personalise their viewing experience by selecting their favourite teams and thus ensuring that the majority of the contest is tailored towards their interests.
Other top tier competitions such as La Liga have followed a similar blueprint, however, this latest development is a significant step forward for soccer streaming.
Premier League fans in the UK are likely to be looking on enviably at this latest technological step forward and although a similar approach is unlikely to materialise anytime soon, this does appear to be a much better way of ensuring that dedicated football fans never miss another minute of action.