Major League Soccer made a huge splash with its streaming rights deal, but the pact will reportedly eat into what it can make on its next linear rights deal.
The U.S. soccer league turned heads last month with its 10-year deal with Apple for $250 million per season.
But the hidden cost, according to sources who spoke with Forbes, is that the league can no longer offer exclusive rights to its linear broadcasters.
- ESPN is reportedly offering around $40 million over four years.
- Current rights holder Fox Sports is interested in keeping MLS, but has only offered $7 million per season.
- Spanish-language rights holder Univision could retain those rights. The network is paying $15 million per season for MLS.
ESPN and Fox Sports currently pay a combined $75 million per season. Around $25 million of its total rights haul went to the US Soccer Federation.
Betting on Betting
MLS has also tapped into the growing sports betting industry, agreeing to a reported $270 million deal with Endeavor’s sports betting data service IMG Arena earlier this month.
Team values are on the rise as well. In June, the Seattle Sounders sold a 3-5% stake in the team at a reported value of $680 million — a price that may have been a discount, since the deal didn’t come with any team control.