The hype around Lionel Messi joining Major League Soccer and Inter Miami is legit, and having a real impact on Apple TV.
Subscribers to MLS Season pass on Apple TV have more than doubled since Messi joined in July, according to a tweet from Jorge Mas, managing owner of Inter Miami. Mas also noted that Spanish language viewership on MLS Season Pass has surpassed 50% during Messi matches and continues to rise.
The Argentinian superstar and soccer legend, who won led his country to a World Cup last year, made his MLS debut on July 21 in a League Cup match against Cruz Azul.
Since arriving, Messi has been a shot in the arm to both the MLS and Apple’s burgeoning television service. Apple launched with a small library of original content, but has over the last year invested in live sports, including Major League Baseball. Apple sees Apple TV as a growth area despite the raft of competing streaming services, and believes it will help keep its customers committed to the Apple universe of products and services.
While Mas isn’t an official spokesman for Apple, CEO Tim Cook liked the tweet, a clear endorsement of the numbers.
An actual spokesman for Apple later confirmed the numbers.