MLS and Apple TV are in the very early stages of their landmark rights deal, as evidenced by a few technical issues.

That’s certainly to be expected!

Now, though, Apple TV users are being offered the chance at a free trial month, an offer that went out this weekend.

Details via Christopher Harris at World Soccer Talk:

Major League Soccer and Apple TV have debuted a one-month free trial to MLS Season Pass. It’ll give soccer fans an opportunity to test drive the streaming subscription service.

The free one-month trial is available now through October 31, 2023. After the free trial ends, MLS Season Pass renews at the monthly rate of $14.99 until cancelled. Apple’s free trial is available to new and qualified returning customers. Note that you’ll need to use your Apple ID login.

What’s interesting here isn’t the concept of offering a free trial to a new service. That’s a long-practiced method to generate new users (and maybe lock a few in via the auto-renew feature, if you want to be really cynical/realistic about it.)

It’s the timing, though, that’s interesting. Usually these trial offers are available right from launch, when the marketing push is biggest and, in this case, at the start of an MLS season when fans are most likely going to be looking for ways to watch the sport. DirecTV long offered a free week 1 of NFL Sunday Ticket, and some streaming providers do the same with RedZone now, too. It’s hard to get consumers to fork over an extra chunk of cash if they have no way of experiencing the benefits first.

Doing it now (and with a sort of indefinite time period with which to take advantage, stretching to the end of the campaign) suggests that perhaps the early numbers weren’t what either Apple or MLS were hoping for.

That’s just one possibility, of course. Apple might have wanted to get any technical issues out of the way first, for example, before trying to make a good first impression on a wider audience. Or maybe they just wanted more data on the initial launch sign-ups and streaming numbers before seeing how a trial month impacted things.

Any of that is plausible. But as we know that Apple has some form of opt-out from this deal, it’s certainly worth monitoring the situation.

[World Soccer Talk]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.