Apple’s MLS Season Pass will stream games in 1080p
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Apple already announced a lot of the details on its MLS Season Pass, the company’s biggest entry into live sports streaming yet. However, the company and the league still had a few details they hadn’t yet revealed. As the start of the new season draws closer, the two collaborators announced more info today, including streaming and audio quality in addition to scheduling, the number of games and studio show formats
In what will be a disappointment for some, Apple will stream every game in 1080p. That’s the same quality the company offered for its weekly Major League Baseball games last year. However, it’s an improvement for MLS as every game wasn’t available in 1080p previously. The plan is to have more cameras on the field at each match, so despite a lack of 4K, the comprehensive nature of the visuals should be better than what fans are used to seeing. All MLS regular season and Leagues Cup matches will also be streamed with Dolby 5.1 audio as well as alternate broadcast options like local radio.
One key thing that will be a welcome change for MLS fans is that the league has standardized game start times and scheduling. With a few exceptions, games will be on Saturday or Wednesday nights and they’ll start at 7:30PM local time. There are some Sunday matches scheduled and a few afternoon games, but since MLS is dealing primarily with one broadcaster now, it had the ability to make things a lot easier to follow. Fans can expect at least 13 matches every Saturday or Wednesday night and they’ll start at one of four times: 7:30PM Eastern, Central, Mountain or Pacific.
This schedule change also makes it easier to plan studio programming. Apple and MLS will offer three options: a preview show (MLS Countdown), a post-game show (MLS Wrap-up) and continuous “whiparound” coverage for the entire five hours games take place (MLS 360). A typical Saturday will begin with MLS Countdown 30 minutes prior to the east coast games kicking off. There will also be 15-minute installments of Countdown before the Central, Mountain and Pacific time zone matches begin. During the entire night, MLS 360 will offer coverage of key moments (goals) as they happen with live look-ins of…