Today the Philadelphia Union will be featured in one of the six free MLS games on Apple TV. Apple’s partnership with MLS has been viewed as a huge success after its first week. Now in week two, watch Philly in their first road game of the year on MLS’ exclusive streaming site free of cost as they take on Inter Miami CF!
Apple TV And MLS Season Pass
The introduction of MLS’s 10-year broadcasting partnership with tech giant Apple was almost immediately met with an array of justified skepticism amongst fans, with fear not only for how their viewing experience as a dedicated supporter would change but for how the new deal could affect drawing new eyes to the growing league. But quickly after the platform’s release date of February 1st, worries were eased for many after finally getting a proper look at what MLS Season pass will offer.
While there’s certainly rust to shake off and some wrinkles to be ironed out, the majority of fans seem enthralled with not only the production value from Apple, but with the 360 coverage, recurring content, and league-wide analysis available through a number of different programs on MLS Season Pass after the first weekend of matches.
One of the largest concerns upon MLS and Apple’s partnership announcement was the price point ($14.99/month or $99/season, or $12.99/month or $79/season for Apple TV+ subscribers.) Many now feel they’re getting their money’s worth, especially those interested in the plethora of additional content available and watching multiple matches per weekend. But how does the league intend to attract new fans, especially considering the price point for those who may not be as intrigued by the aforementioned upsides?
One way they look to attack that hurdle is by simply getting the new polished product in front of new eyes. In addition to MLS Pass having zero blackout restrictions for 100% of their games making matches readily available worldwide. The platform will also host a number of free matches on the Apple TV app throughout the season.
MLS Season Pass kicked off its inaugural weekend by offering all 13 games across the league available to watch for free through the Apple TV app, with 6 more free games on the lineup for this upcoming Saturday March 4th, which could keep the curious mind occupied from 4:30 pm EST until the start of the next morning with the conclusion of the games kicking off on the West Coast.
Philadelphia Union Free On Apple TV App Today!
Among the half-dozen free contests to choose from this weekend, is none other than Philadelphia’s Blue and Gold. Coming off a 4-1 win on opening night at Subaru Park against Columbus Crew, the Union will play their first game on the road this Saturday in South Florida against Inter Miami CF. While a normally packed Subaru Park sits empty along the banks of the Delaware River this weekend, many fans will be tuning into the game through the league’s new streaming platform, which has given them more to consume than ever before.
But with the outpouring of positive reviews of MLS Season Pass after its opening weekend, the excitement surrounding the Union after the club’s historic run to an MLS Cup Final, and being matched up against a team with growing global recognition, Miami-Philadelphia being one of the free matches of the week might mean more eyes on the Union than just the die-hards on Saturday night.
With Union’s Season Ticket Memberships being at an all-time high in 2023, it’s safe to say that the team’s record-shattering play and heartbreaking loss of the MLS Cup have left a lot of new faces with the fear of missing out on what could be in store for this upcoming season. And with the Eagles still healing their wounds, the Phillies gearing up for their revenge tour in Spring Training, and the Flyers resembling something similar to a dumpster fire at the moment, a free game on Saturday night before the Sixers tip-off might be an ample opportunity for those still looking for the chance to see what the Union are about.
Miami’s Growing Global Recognition
In addition to the earned league-wide respect (with the exception of maybe 1 anonymous MLS Exec,) and the growing enthusiasm around the Union in the Philadelphia area, I’d be remiss not to mention the appeal their opponents bring on a global scale. With many MLS curious eyes overseas already being drawn towards Inter Miami CF due to co-owner David Beckham, it’s not just the former England superstar and pop-culture icon mustering up international buzz around the club from South Florida.
It’s widely reported that Argentinian World Cup winner by the name of Lionel Messi, if you’ve ever heard of him, could be on his way to Miami this summer after his contract has expired with PSG. The implications Messi would have on MLS would be unmatched by anything the league has seen thus far. While the future of Messi in Miami is still only rumors and daydreaming, it’s only elevated the number of those intrigued outside North America. And once again, MLS Season Pass will make watching the league much easier for those across the pond, no longer having to worry about dodgy illegal streams and being able to start watching matches even after they’ve kicked off.
So with everything surrounding both clubs, the accessibility of MLS Season Pass’s hub with zero blackouts worldwide, and the feature of free matches for those still testing the waters, Saturday night might be the perfect recipe for concocting some new Union faithful. While I don’t think a free stream of an away game at the beginning of the season is going to propel the Union into one of the globe’s most supported clubs, it only takes one or two people with passion and a dream to start growing something special, right?
After all, it was the founding members of the ‘Sons of Ben”, the Union’s supporters group, whose passion and dreams alone convinced MLS to grant Philadelphia a spot in the league in the first place.
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