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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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‘Messi Effect’ Sparks Surge in MLS Season Pass Subscribers

  • Club managing owner touts continued surge fueled by Argentinan star.
  • Apple CEO Cook also expresses approval with progress of streaming service.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The exact number of subscribers that MLS and Apple have generated for their new MLS Season Pass remains one of the industry’s most guarded secrets. 

But Inter Miami’s managing owner, Jorge Mas, says the count has more than doubled since Lionel Messi’s heralded arrival at the club.

Mas posted Thursday what had long been expected and seen elsewhere in league and club business: Messi has drawing power like no one else.

“The Messi Effect is real!” Mas added on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Also, Spanish-language viewership on MLS Season Pass has surpassed 50% for Messi matches, and continues to rise. How exciting for a truly global fan base!” 

MLS officials haven’t confirmed Mas’ statement, and the exact subscriber count for MLS League Pass hasn’t been publicly disclosed. But Apple CEO Tim Cook shared Mas’ post on his feed.

The New York Post reported in late July that the MLS Season Pass count reached 800,000 prior to Messi’s arrival, but MLS hasn’t confirmed that figure. Any sort of meaningful subscriber lift, however, represents a key step forward for a league that has embraced direct-to-consumer distribution like no other major U.S. sports league and is helping reshape the sports media landscape.

Messi’s contract reportedly entails that the Argentinian superstar is sharing in revenue from new subscriptions to MLS Season Pass.

Subscriptions to MLS Season Pass have also been granted to fans through season-ticket purchases to MLS clubs, as well as through a subscriber promotion offered by wireless carrier T-Mobile.

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