Posts with «soccer» label

'FIFA 23' will add all 12 National Women's Soccer League teams on March 15th

The National Women’s Soccer League is heading to FIFA 23. Electronic Arts announced on Monday that all 12 NWSL teams would be available to play within the game starting March 15th, thanks to a licensing partnership the company recently signed with the league and NWSL Players Association. The 12 teams of the NWSL, and all the female athletes who play on their rosters, will also be part of the franchise moving forward, including when it rebrands to EA Sports FC later this year.

FIFA 23 launched with all 24 teams from the Women’s Super League and Division 1 in the UK and France. The game also marked the first time EA featured a female player on the cover, with Chelsea’s Sam Kerr appearing on the Ulitmate Edition. All told, the series has come a long way since FIFA 16, when EA first added pro female players.

Come March 15th, all 12 NWSL teams will be available to play within FIFA 23’s Kick-Off game modes. They will also be available in the game’s Tournament Mode, as well as Online Seasons and Friendlies. If both teams are from the NWSL, EA says players will see an “authentic” match broadcast experience. Separately, the company is adding the option to play through the UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) in Kick-Off and Tournament game modes. It’s also adding four new European clubs, including Juventus and Real Madrid, to round out the UWCL experience.

“The athletes that call the NWSL home are some of the best in the world and we’re excited for the opportunity to further showcase their talent through this unique gaming experience,” said NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman. “We can’t wait for fans to begin playing and we look forward to continuing this celebration of the players and the league when we kick off our 11th season on March 25.”

FIFA 23 is available on PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

T-Mobile is offering a free year of MLS Season Pass on AppleTV+

T-Mobile has quite the offer for subscribers who are also soccer fans. The carrier will offer its customers a year of Major League Soccer Season Pass to watch in the Apple TV app. Usually $99 annually, the service broadcasts “every live regular-season match, all MLS Cup playoff matches and the Leagues Cup.” Additionally, there are no blackouts — a concept that fans of the three most popular American sports leagues may have trouble processing.

The offer will be available in the T-Mobile Tuesdays app starting February 21. Once the deal is live, T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile subscribers can download the app and sign in with their phone numbers to claim the offer.

T-Mobile has offered some enticing deals through the years in its Tuesdays app, but this one stands out from much of the typical fare (like a free Frosty from Wendy’s). In addition, it’s an opportunity for MLS and Apple TV+ to expand their reach while giving T-Mobile a carrot to lure subscribers from competing cellular providers.

The Apple TV app isn’t limited to Apple devices; you can also install it on Roku, PlayStation and Xbox consoles, Chromecast, Amazon Fire devices, Android TV, cable streaming boxes (including Comcast, Cox and Verizon) and smart TVs from Samsung, Vizio, Sony, LG and Panasonic. You can also tune in using a browser at the Apple TV+ website.

Apple's MLS Season Pass will stream games in 1080p

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.

Billy Steele/Engadget

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 in-progress matches with studio commentary. Finally, Wrap-up will air when all the games have concluded as a recap of all of the day's action.

In total, Apple and MLS will offer up almost 1000 games through Season Pass. That's every regular season game, the All Star Game and MLS Cup playoffs. Then there's the 77 matches of the Leagues Cup that will include every team from MLS and Mexico's Liga MX (group stage and knockout rounds). Season Pass will also stream 250 live MLS Next Pro matches from league-affiliated development teams, including playoffs and the championship game. There will also be over 100 games from the MLS Next youth level, some of which are tournaments or qualifying tournaments, with MLS club academies on display here. 

As Apple has said before, MLS Season Pass will be available everywhere you find the Apple TV app. That includes the web, Apple TV (4K, HD and 3rd generation), iPhone, iPad and Mac as well as Samsung, Vizio, LG, Sony, Panasonic and Hisense smart TVs. You'll also find it on Roku, Fire TV, Android TV and Google TV streaming devices and it's available on PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Comcast in the US, Sky in the UK, Free in France, Magenta TV in Germany and B TV in Slovakia are TV providers that offer access. 

The 2023 season starts February 25th, but MLS Season Pass has already launched. There's plenty of on-demand content to prepare you for the season if you want to sign up now. The streaming plan costs $15 per month or $99 for the season. If you're an Apple TV+ customer, you'll get the discounted rates of $13/month or $79 a season. There will be a number of free games during the season, including every match on opening weekend. For a list of what you'll be able to watch without a subscription for the first month, check the MLS schedule here. Some games will also air on FOX and FS1.

How to stream every game with Apple's MLS Season Pass

Apple dabbled in live sports with weekly Major League Baseball games last year, but now the company is launching its most ambitious offering yet. Today, the company debuts MLS Season Pass, a subscription that gives soccer fans access to every game of the 2023 season, the Leagues Cup and both MLS Next Pro and MLS Next matches — all with no blackouts. While you can sign up today and start watching a library of archived content, the first games begin February 25th. 

MLS Season Pass will be available to stream through the Apple TV app on the company's range of devices, game consoles, streaming gadgets, set-top boxes, smart TVs and on the web. Anywhere you find that piece of software you'll be able to access the subscription. The streaming plan costs $15 per month or $99 for the season. If you're an Apple TV+ customer, you'll get the discounted rates of $13/month or $79 a season. What's more, avid fans who are season ticket holders for an MLS club will get the all-inclusive streaming subscription for free. Apple's tie-in with MLS is part of a 10-year deal, so the US league's games aren't going to another network or streaming service any time soon.

If you're not sure if you want to commit just yet, "the majority" of the on-demand content already streaming is available for free. More importantly, Apple will offer every game on opening weekend free of charge and will follow that up with weekly free games. That library of on-demand items includes archived matches going back to 2019, documentary-style stories, the best moments from last season and curated highlights. 


Each team has a club page with highlights, schedule info and archived games. Once you select the team(s) you want to follow, match reminders will display in the Up Next section of the Apple TV app. As the season approaches, you'll be privy to game previews and other team-specific content. During matches, updates will show on your iPhone lockscreen via Live Activities

Apple has committed to English and Spanish commentary teams for every match. Additionally, MLS Season Pass will offer French for matches that include the leagues Canadian clubs. Apple has already announced a team of nearly 50 announcers, including a wide range of experienced broadcasters and former players. Maurice Edu, Cobi Jones, Taylor Twellman, Lori Lindsey and Danielle Slaton are just a few of the many. In addition to games, MLS Season Pass will offer live pre-game, halftime and post-game analysis in addition to a "whip-around show" with live look-ins at in-progress matches and detailed discussions of key moments from every game. 

Interestingly, Apple will also provide radio broadcasts as part of the streaming plan. If you don't care for the broadcast team, or just prefer to listen to your favorite club's radio crew, you can opt for that alternate audio. The company promises that the sound will sync up with the live action so it will be a true replacement if you choose it. One of the key things that Apple hasn't announced yet is streaming quality. The company says that the "full production plan" will be announced ahead of the season's start, which will hopefully include that info. Apple's weekly MLB games were streamed in 1080p at 60fps, but since MLS Season Pass is a much more elaborate effort that includes literally every match, maybe the company will surprise us and upgrade to 4K. 


Lionel Messi's World Cup celebration is now the most-liked post on Instagram

Soccer megastar Lionel Messi finally secured the one prize that had eluded him during his illustrious career this weekend when Argentina won the World Cup. Afterward, the best player of the 21st century (yeah, I said it) added another record to his resume, as he now has the most-liked post on Instagram.

Messi posted a slideshow of him and his teammates celebrating after winning the World Cup. At the time of writing, the post has more than 65.8 million likes. The previous record-holder, a stock photo of an egg, claimed the top spot in early 2019 and currently has north of 57.3 million likes.

It's not super surprising that Messi broke the Instagram record. As The Verge points out, the majority of the most-liked posts on the platform are from footballers, with the Paris Saint-Germain forward holding eight of the top 20 spots. 

Messi is also the second most-followed person on the platform with 404 million followers. Instagram's own official account has the most followers overall. In second place, one spot ahead of Messi, is his old rival Cristiano Ronaldo with 520 million followers. Bet he'd rather have a World Cup, though.

Google Search saw its highest traffic ever during the World Cup 2022 Final

Google Search recorded the highest traffic in its 25-year history during the FIFA World Cup yesterday, CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted. Google effectively became an information hub for the final, a strong contender for the best in FIFA men's history. With records already smashed for group stage and Round of 16 matches, it's also likely to be the most watched final in history once figures are released. 

Search recorded its highest ever traffic in 25 years during the final of #FIFAWorldCup , it was like the entire world was searching about one thing!

— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) December 19, 2022

With updated Search features released ahead of the World Cup, Google made it easier for users to keep up with the action. Searching "World Cup" showed a dedicated section at the top with a list of upcoming matches, for instance, including dates and local times. You could also set up notifications on mobile for specific teams by tapping the bell icon and choosing the squad you wanted to follow.

It was also aided by the nail-biting action and strong storylines. Those include Lionel Messi finally getting his World Cup, Kylian Mbappe's legendary performance, France's late second-half comeback, an incredible extra time with two goals scored and a nerve-wracking shootout. All of that was capped by the celebrations and outpouring of emotions by players and fans alike. 

World Cup attendees can use AR to see stats for players on the pitch

Folks who are attending the FIFA World Cup in Qatar don't have to miss out on all the player stats they'd see while watching games on TV. The FIFA+ app has an augmented reality feature that allows fans to view the likes of VAR replays and alternate camera angles.

FIFA says that only people who are attending matches in person can access the FIFA+ Stadium Experience. According to a video that has gained traction, users can point their phone's camera at the pitch. An overlay will pop up that enables them to tap on a player to see things like their movement speed and individual heatmap.

The VAR replays could come in handy for those who are in the stadium but aren't clear about why the referee made a certain decision. In the buildup to Japan's winning goal against Spain on Thursday, it appeared as though the ball went out of play (as shown in the image above). The referee initially disallowed the goal but overturned the decision after VAR showed a sliver of the ball remained in bounds. Having the option to see the VAR replay on their phone might have helped fans in attendance understand the call, especially if they missed it on the big screen.

The AR overlay looks neat and it could add to the experience of being at a game for some folks. On the other hand, it's the World Cup and possibly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Sometimes, it's okay to keep your phone away and be truly immersed in what's going on around you.

Apple's Major League Soccer Season Pass debuts February 1st for $99 per year

Apple's Major League Soccer streaming finally has a launch date and, importantly, a price. The company has revealed that the MLS Season Pass will debut February 1st, 2023 at a price of $99 per season, or $15 per month. As you might guess, Apple TV+ subscribers get a discounted rate of $79 per season and $13 per month. The regular season kicks off February 25th, so you'll have a while to decide before the competition begins in earnest.

Full-season ticket packages will include MLS Season Pass. You won't always have to subscribe, however. Some MLS and Leagues Cup matches will stream at no extra charge for Apple TV+ viewers, and certain matches (such as those from the "MLS is Back" opening weekend) will be completely free to view.

The allure, as mentioned in June, is the complete coverage. You can watch every match, including the playoffs and League Cup, without running into regional blackouts. Replays, highlights and other content will be available if you miss the live action. MLS games will be available through the Apple TV app and the web. English, Spanish and (for Canadian teams) French commentary will be available, and you can also tune into a team's local radio broadcast.

The premiere marks the start of a 10-year deal between Apple and the MLS. It's also a significant expansion of Apple's sports strategy. Until now, live sports from Apple were limited to free, weekly Friday Night Baseball double-headers. Now, the company is streaming whole seasons and charging for it like the leagues themselves. MLS Season Pass might not be as desirable as offerings like NFL+, but it could put pressure on Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+ and other streamers using live sports as a selling point.

Google's latest Search update makes it easier to follow the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Google Search can help ensure that you don't miss any FIFA World Cup match you want to see when the even takes place from November 20th through December 18th. If you search "World Cup" on Google, you'll now see a dedicated section at the top with the list of upcoming matches, along with their dates and your local time. 

On mobile, either on a browser or on the Google app, you'll have the option to set up notifications for specific teams by tapping the "bell" icon at the top right corner of the screen and then choosing the squad you want to follow. You'll also be able to keep up with the score in real time anywhere you are by tapping on the match you want to track and then dragging and dropping it anywhere on your screen. 


Notifications don't seem to be available for desktop, but the dedicated Google panel for the World Cup will show you in-depth stats and win probabilities across devices. When the games begin, you'll also be able to watch recap videos from FIFA+, the association's streaming service, and official broadcasters that include the BBC directly on the results page. Plus, you'll be able to play with or against fellow fans in a multiplayer game, wherein you can pick your side for a real match and score virtual goals for them. 

Google is also launching a label for businesses that can help you find a venue showing the games. For the upcoming matches, you simply have to type in "Where to watch the world cup near me?" Rather watch alone? You can also do that via YouTube TV, which will give you access to the live matches on FOX and FS1, or on Telemundo for Spanish-language broadcasts. If you have a Wear OS device, you can ask Google through your wearable to set match reminders for you and then view them all in the Agenda app. And in case you can't get enough of everything football, the tech giant is also launching a new row on Google TV's For You tab that showcases FIFA content and highlights.

Paramount+ will stream the UEFA Champions League until 2030

Paramount+ will be the home of UEFA Champions League soccer for the rest of the decade. Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) has secured a six-year extension to stream the glitzy annual soccer tournament until the end of the 2029-30 season. The deal includes the English-language rights to the Europa League and Europa Conference League, the second and third tiers of international European club soccer competition.

The agreement is valued at over $1.5 billion, meaning that Paramount Global will pay around $250 million per year. That's a steep increase from the $100 million per year the company is currently paying, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news. Several media companies are said to have been interested in the Champions League rights, with Paramount believed to have pipped Amazon.

The deal marks an extension of the current agreement Paramount has with UEFA, which will expire in 2024. Although some Champions League games air on Paramount-owned networks like CBS and CBS Sports Network, Paramount+ streams all of them. The service will continue to do so for another eight years.

The latest pact runs through the 2026 World Cup, which will take place in the US, Canada and Mexico and is expected to make the sport even more popular in North America. Paramount (which also has the rights to broadcast Serie A, some CONCACAF international games, the National Women's Soccer League and the Women's Super League) aired the 2022 Champions League final on CBS and drew record ratings. It was also the most-streamed soccer match ever on Paramount+.

“UEFA has been a key driver for Paramount+ since our launch and we are thrilled to extend this successful partnership showcasing even more world-class soccer through the 2029-30 season, building on the incredible momentum we have created the past two years,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said in a statement.