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Messi's move to MLS is a big deal for Apple – The Verge

By Andrew Webster, an entertainment editor covering streaming, virtual worlds, and every single Pokémon video game. Andrew joined The Verge in 2012, writing over 4,000 stories.
Lionel Messi has found a new home, and it’s a big win for Apple. The legendary soccer player has said that he will be signing a deal with Inter Miami in MLS, fresh off of winning the World Cup last year with Argentina, and the club confirmed the news with a not-so-subtle tease on Twitter. Having arguably the best player in the game is a big coup for both the club and the league — but also for Apple, which has MLS streaming rights for the next decade.
The announcement comes after much consternation about where Messi would land following a stint in Paris; rumors placed him returning to Barcelona or heading for a big payday in Saudi Arabia. But in coming to MLS, he instantly makes an MLS Season Pass subscription, which is available through Apple TV Plus, much more appealing, particularly for a global audience who might otherwise be focused on the big leagues in Europe.
On June 6th, Apple also announced that it would air a four-part docuseries on Messi on Apple TV Plus, which now feels like foreshadowing, and Messi will reportedly also get a piece of the Apple / MLS broadcast partnership.
Apple has been a surprisingly big player in the world of soccer of late. In addition to its MLS deal and several documentaries, the company also counts Ted Lassowhich may or may not be over — as one of its biggest streaming hits. And given Messi’s former manager made a guest appearance in season 3, maybe we’ll see him flex his acting skills, too.
Update June 7th, 4:13PM ET: Added details about the deal from The Athletic.
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