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Apple’s Soccer TV Push Comes With No Guarantees for Advertisers

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Apple Inc. will launch its new streaming service for Major League Soccer this week with a lot of the traditional practices of TV advertising kicked to the sidelines.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant hasn't been looking for buyers of individual ads during the games, asking marketers instead to buy a season-long series of spots that will run during the games, according to people familiar with the company's sales efforts.

Apple hasn't been guaranteeing advertisers they'll reach a certain number of viewers, a standard practice in TV. It's also not accepting ads from sports-betting companies, at least initially, according to two of the people.

MLS Season Pass, which debuts Feb. 1, marks Apple's first major push into the $68 billion US TV ad market. The company reached a 10-year deal last year to stream the men's professional soccer league, which aired previously on ESPN, Fox and Univision, in a deal worth at least $250 million annually.

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