Soccer wins streaming
The Future. Soccer is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and a lot of that viewership is thanks to streaming. With the U.S. men’s professional league set to renew its media rights contract at the end of the next season, expect everyone to get in on the action. For platforms, the key to success may be securing content that appeals to a global audience — and there’s no sport more global than soccer.
Major League Streaming
The rise of streaming services are helping soccer create a new home turf.
- Soccer is already super popular on streaming, with Paramount+, Peacock, and ESPN+ signing huge deals to carry matches.
- And at the end of the 2022 season, the media rights contract for the U.S. men’s Major League Soccer (MLS) league expires.
- The league is selling all of its broadcast rights at once, and Amazon, Apple, WarnerMedia, and ViacomCBS are all interested in picking them up exclusively.
Currently, U.S. MLS reaps about $90 million a year from the broadcast rights. But with a bidding war around the corner, expect the league to generate a lot more cash this time around.
Soccer may not be as popular as football, basketball, or hockey in the U.S., but it may be the fastest growing sport.
- Because of streaming, roughly 75 professional soccer games are available to watch on an average Saturday.
- The U.S. soccer league rose from the 13th most popular sports league in 2019 to the 7th today.
- Championship games saw sign-ups for Paramount+ and Peacock surge 3-4x the usual amount.
And don’t worry about soccer’s popularity on cable — NBC’s Premier League is having its best viewership year since the 2015-2016 season. Looks like everyone loves soccer.