MLS Broadcasting Rights | Another concern for the Montreal department

CF Montreal Football Club will see domestic broadcasts of its matches reduced by half next year following the agreement between MLS and Apple over broadcasting rights.

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Montreal XI forced to change its game plan

Andre Dubuque

Andre Dubuque

CF Montreal, weakened after two seasons in exile in the US, took a hit from Jarnac in its own league with a new broadcasting rights contract that reduced its visibility in the Quebec market.

According to the experts consulted, the club will not be able to do anything other than work twice as hard on marketing to win fans in the future.

At $250 million per year for 10 years, Major League Soccer (MLS) in June sold the exclusive streaming rights to the Apple TV+ digital payment platform. Many details of the agreement are still unknown.

However, we know that match production will be taken care of by the league, which will focus commentator teams in the United States. Starting next year, fans who prefer a more partisan description of their team’s matches are encouraged to listen to the radio. Something reminiscent of nostalgia for the era of Expos with Jacques Doucet and Claude Raymond side by side.


Gabriel Gervais, President and CEO of CF Montreal

Gabriel Jervis, CF president and CEO in Montreal, said he hopes to continue broadcasting games locally by RDS or TVA Sports next year. “We will still have a large number of matches that will still be shown on TV,” he told fellow sportsman Jean-Francois Teutonio. I wish at least half the games. »

In other words, the average fan, who this season has access to all of his club’s matches on TVA Sports, will watch only half of them next year in a best-case scenario.

“There is a huge risk that comes with this agreement,” says Philippe Merigan, professor of economics at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), who is interested in professional sports economics. “The franchise is sure to get a sum of money each year thanks to the agreement, but will this help advance the sport in Montreal and Quebec? A big question mark.”

Under the new agreement, all CF Montreal matches as well as all MLS matches worldwide will be offered on Apple TV+, a platform not used by the French-speaking public here at the moment.

In addition, enthusiastic hobbyists will have to subscribe to Apple TV + and then pay an additional amount to be entitled to the MLS package.

“Every time you have to pay, it’s a brake on consumer behavior,” Merrigan says.

This is not a good thing for CF Montreal, which is having a hard time gaining followers.

Eric Brunel, Professor at HEC Montréal and Director of the Sports Department

A real concern for a club struggling to fill Saputo Stadium. In 2018, the Montreal team reported losing between 11 and 12 million dollars a season since entering the NBA in 2012.

The club is forced to rethink its marketing, suggests the specialist.

Sports fans love getting a personalized treatment that includes players from their local team, says Brunel. In this regard, the Montreal club was well served by TVA Sports, he said. “It is clear that with the centralization of production teams, there will be no personalization. The personalization has to come from the club through its own digital tools.”

The president of CF Montreal, Gabriel Gervais, appears to be well aware of this problem. At Mario Langloa’s mic on 98.5 FM at the end of June, he said he would have preferred a gradual transition to digital.

He recently said, “We’re going to have to build more content and get our fans on our side” Journalism. We’ll have to build a content team. bigger team. We have a team, but we will need more strength. »

Photo by Eric Bolt, USA Today Sports Archives

According to the experts consulted JournalismCF Montreal will have to redouble its efforts to attract new fans.

The club has just appointed Samia Shbeir as Vice President and Director of Marketing and Communications. I worked for several years in advertising agencies such as LG2.

The cup is half full

Across the league, the reaction to the Apple TV+ deal has generated a torrent of positive comments. People see it as a profitable bet on the future with a world-class partner by “GAFAesque” means. Football attracts younger and more international clients than other professional sports. This person doesn’t watch TV and has largely embraced internet broadcasting. One possible reason for the mediocre ratings on cable TV (nearly 200,000 people per MLS game per channel, according to Sports Business Magazine).

According to Philip Merrigan, the league, in which some clubs are losing, is buying time with this $2.5 billion deal in 10 years. He believes it will “ensure that the league survives for a few years.” It will also help to hold the FIFA World Cup in North America in 2026.

Created in 1996 with 10 clubs, MLS will soon celebrate its 30th anniversary, a feat for the North American professional football circuit. The league still lags behind the big four professional sports, and a league that will soon have 29 franchises with the arrival of St. Louis can be considered a success, according to Mr. Merrigan, even if only for the massive increase in value teams. according to ForbesThe club had an average value of $30 million in 2008. Ten years later, the average value had doubled by 10, to $313 million.

210 million: The value of CF Montreal, penultimate in the league, in 2018

source : Forbes

With Jean Francois Teutonio, Journalism


When Apple makes cinema

Karim Ben Issa

Karim Ben Issa

Apple TV + launched at the same time as Disney +, which now has six times more subscribers, and offers a fraction of the content of its rival Netflix, yet Apple TV + managed to outpace the two giants by becoming the first video streaming platform to win the prestigious award. Oscar for Best Picture and award collection. A picture of Apple’s amazing foray into the streaming industry.

service ”

Since November 2019, when Apple TV + was officially launched, Apple has never released statistics on its platform revenue or subscriber count. In annual reports, it is part of the “Services” category, where we also find advertising, cloud computing, and Apple Pay. In 2021, this category reported $68.4 billion in revenue, up 33% from the previous year.

25 million

At the end of June, Tony Sakunagi of Bernstein estimated the number of paying subscribers to be between 20 and 40 million. Thus, he estimated income at “between 1 and 2 billion”, against expenditures of close to 3 billion US dollars. Other sources in the media indicate spending about 6 billion US dollars. A group of Statista estimates the number of subscribers at 25 million, which is a more consistent estimate and to which should be added 50 million subscribers who benefit from various promotions. Most Apple product buyers benefit from a free Apple TV + offer for at least three months.

Whatever the case, Apple TV+ certainly doesn’t match the 221.6 million Netflix subscribers and 137.7 million Disney+ subscribers. However, Apple has opened doors over the past two years by creating the app + AppleTV Available on many operating systems.

slim width

There is an even bigger gap when it comes to the catalog of titles on offer. Apple TV+ contains only 147, almost all of the originals, while Netflix is ​​far ahead of its competitors with 6,475 titles.

To complete the picture, Apple TV+ also offers a lower monthly price than the others.

Prizes in spades

However, with such a thin catalog, Apple TV+ achieved an unlikely success last March by being the first video streaming platform to receive the Best Picture Oscar, which is given to kuda. Netflix was also in the running with dog power.

PHOTO FREDERIC J. BROWN, Agence France-Presse Archives

In addition to the Oscar for Best Picture, kuda It won Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor in a Supporting Role, awarded to Troy Kotsur, who is seen here celebrating with actress Marley Matlin, who plays his wife in the Sian Heder movie.

“It’s impressive” for Apple sums up Geetha Ranganathan, senior media analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in an interview with Yahoo Finance. “Apple TV+ came out and swept it away, when other platforms had been making a lot of noise for years. She believes this victory ‘legitimizes’ Apple TV+ by making it credible.

However, Netflix has had an enviable record of 16 Oscars in other categories since 2013. In total, the platform received 267 awards and 1,018 selections worldwide. In less than two years, according to an Apple press release published last April, Apple TV + has come dangerously close to that record, with 243 awards and 961 picks.

IMDb Champion

Apple has claimed since the service was launched that it has bet on quality, an assertion that is hard to prove, although many of its flagship series such as Ted LassoAnd the to cut And the for all mankind It received excellent critical and popular acclaim. An analysis of ratings awarded by users of the IMDb database, conducted by Self Financial, provides the beginning of statistical confirmation: the Apple catalog has the best average rating for two years, with 7.08 out of 10 in 2022.

“From this perspective, the performance of Apple TV+ is impressive,” said Julia Alexander, principal analyst at Parrot Analytics, citing New York media. monitor. “Average quality is great for a new service. Apple has focused on making fewer series and movies, choosing to prioritize quality.”

With 2021 revenues of 365.8 billion and a market capitalization close to $2500 billion, it’s clear that Apple has the means to invest huge sums in its production. But for many experts, it is above all about strengthening an entire ecosystem by promoting the unified Apple One service, which includes video games, cloud computing, music and audiovisual content. A way for Apple to diversify its income and free itself from its dependence on the iPhone, which accounted for 70% of its income in 2017. In 2021, it was 52%.

Apple and professional sports

Live sports are increasingly being broadcasted through streaming platforms. So far, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Netflix and Apple have ventured with caution. Apple TV+ has made its first foray this season with exclusive broadcasts of Major League Baseball games on Friday nights. The agreement with MLS confirms the ambitions of the Cupertino giants in professional sport. Critics expect her to apply for the rights to some NFL football matches. The rights of the UEFA Champions League (football) in Europe from 2024 are currently on the market.

Andre Dubuque Journalism

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