Apple said to expand live TV advertising around Major League football deal

Apple is building a live TV ad network as part of its deal to show Major League Soccer games next year, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The company is talking with advertising partners and MLS sponsors ahead of the February launch of running ads during football matches and related shows, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the Discussions are private.

The move is part of a more aggressive push by Apple in advertising. The company’s advertising unit generates about $4 billion (about Rs 33,000 crore) in revenue annually, but is looking to increase that figure to double-digit billions of dollars, Bloomberg News reported. This includes placing search ads in more apps, such as its maps service, starting next year.

The tech giant recently struck a 10-year deal to stream MLS games in a new subscription service, along with the Apple TV+ streaming platform. The company will also release some of the games for free to Apple TV app users.

Apple plans to broadcast advertising in the three levels of the partnership: the dedicated package, paid TV+ subscriptions and the free TV application. The move represents an expansion of the company’s first live television commercial, which is included in Major League Baseball games already shown on TV+.

Apple declined to comment.

Apple considers advertising revenue from MLS games, in addition to subscription fees, to be essential to generating money through the MLS deal. The contract has been estimated at $250 million (approximately Rs. 2,050 crore) per season, or $2.5 billion (approximately Rs. 20,500 crore) over the next decade.

Todd Teresi, Apple’s vice president of advertising platforms, is leading the expansion of MLS ads. He recently oversaw the addition of more ad slots to the App Store, including one on the front page of the outlet.

It’s a controversial move for Apple, both because it once bragged about avoiding ad overload and because its recent privacy changes have undermined the marketing efforts of social media companies. The company said its own push in the ads was unrelated.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company is also considering adding ads to additional apps and services. Apple has other apps with App Store-like storefronts, including its podcast and book offerings. The company could also introduce an ad-supported version of TV+, following in the footsteps of Netflix and Disney.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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