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Did MLS make it difficult to grow the game in Canada?

For a long time and still is, hockey is one of the most popular sports in Canada. But soccer isn’t too far behind. Canada qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was huge for growing the game. Often times Canadians will support their heritage on the international stage, but this time it felt different: a whole country united together. Fans that their heritage teams were rivals on the international stage, all came together to support their country. This includes sold out matches to growing ticket sales for Canadian MLS teams. It seemed like soccer may become one of the biggest sports in Canada. With soccer haven’t been one of the biggest sports in Canada, it seemed like things would only get better. Well unfortunately, MLS’ new deal with Apple TV MLS season pass made it difficult for fans to watch games.

Reality of how expensive it is to watch soccer

Usually fans in Canada would support a team in Europe, along with their hometown MLS team. MLS was easy to access for Canadians due to TSN (a common sports channel) broadcasting games. It was easy for fans to watch their European team earlier in the day and then watch their MLS team at night. Well, now that is more difficult than ever to watch every UEFA soccer tournament, European club soccer, and MLS games. Canadians would have to pay $199.99/yr for DAZN which would give access to watch all European tournaments (men’s and women’s Champions League, Europa League, and Conference League). FuboTv (199.99/yr) to watch the Premier League, Serie A, Ligue 1, and the CPL. Apple TV MLS season pass to watch all MLS games, $129. So if you wanted to watch a team like Manchester City + Any MLS team you would need to pay $528.98. Canadian fans can still watch a few MLS games on TSN as there is usually one Canadian team on each week. With Toronto FC, CF Montreal, and Vancouver Whitecaps all switching each week, it’s difficult for diehard fans to watch just a few games on TSN.

Fans point of view

For a different look on things, someone who just likes to tune into a Toronto FC game, instead of being able to turn on TSN they would need to purchase Apple TV’s MLS season pass for $129 on top of their normal cable subscription that they used to be able to use. I think MLS moving to Apple TV was a bad decision, with two Canadian venues hosting 2026 World Cup matches, it would’ve been an easy way to continue to gain viewership on the already easy-to-access sports channel, TSN.


I’m a big believer in growing the game of soccer. But unfortunately, it’s a business, and for a business to succeed they need money. That is what MLS got with this deal and I’m sure in the long term it will work out. But for now, it has left a lot of Canadian soccer fans frustrated.

The upcoming broadcasting schedule on TSN can be found here

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