Apple close to landing streaming rights for major soccer tourney, report says

A soccer pitch.

Apple is close to inking a deal with FIFA, soccer’s governing body, for the exclusive streaming rights to a revamped version of the Club World Cup, the New York Times reported on Monday.

As its name suggests, the Club World Cup brings together the best world’s best club teams, and while a version of the tournament has been going on for several decades, FIFA is gearing up to launch a bigger, month-long version next year in the U.S. involving 32 entrants in eight groups of four teams. And Apple reportedly wants in.

A deal between the tech giant and soccer’s governing body could be announced before the end of this month, unnamed sources claiming to have knowledge of the matter told the New York Times.

Like its Major League Soccer (MLS) coverage, Apple is likely to charge a special fee to watch the Club World Cup coverage. For example, at the current time, access t0 Apple’s MLS streams requires ‌Apple TV+‌ subscribers to hand over an additional $13 per month or $79 per season, while non-subscribers have to pay $15 per month or $99 per season (though occasional freebies do come around).

FIFA is planning to hold the Club World Cup soccer tournament from June 15 through July 13. It usually takes place on an annual basis, but starting in 2025, it will adopt a different format and take place every four years in the year before the regular soccer World Cup involving national teams.

Apple’s other sporting interests include Major League Baseball coverage, and earlier this year it launched the Apple Sports app offering live sports scores and real-time stats, among other features. And, though it’s a bit of stretch, we can also drop in Ted Lasso, Apple’s award-winning comedy about an American college football coach who lands a job managing a soccer club in England.