Apple close to major football streaming deal as report says FIFA Club World Cup 2025 could be exclusive to Apple TV Plus

FIFA Club World Cup 2025 Apple
(Image credit: FIFA)

Apple is looking to cement its status as a sports broadcaster by securing the television rights for a brand new iteration of the FIFA Club World Cup on Apple TV Plus. It would join the current MLS Season Pass in Apple's coverage of football. Or soccer, if you're American.

According to a report from the NYT, Apple is in the advanced stages of discussions with FIFA to broadcast the World Cup-style event running from 15 June to 13 July 2025. The FIFA Club World Cup will take place in the United States next summer with a new format including 32 of the best club teams from around the world, including reigning champions Manchester City alongside other world football titans like Real Madrid and Chelsea. It's expected that should Apple close the deal this would be for global streaming rights of the tournament, propelling Apple into a new stratosphere as a worldwide sports streaming service.

The New York Times reveals that while FIFA had dreams of pocketing a cool $4 billion from these rights, the reality might see them netting only a mere 25% of that lofty ambition.

FIFA Club World Cup on Apple TV Plus

The tournament in question isn't just another addition to the soccer calendar. It would be the new format of the FIFA Club World Cup pitting 32 of the very best club teams from around the world against each other. This landmark deal would see FIFA agreeing to a single worldwide contract for the first time ever. This makes the event a critical look at what's to come, providing a global stage for Apple TV Plus in the world of sports.

This major deal wouldn't be Apple's first foray into football. The tech giant already teamed up with Major League Soccer, offering an MLS Season Pass that allows fans to stream matches for either $14.99 a month or a more wallet-friendly $99 for the entire season via Apple TV sitting alongside all the best shows to stream on Apple TV Plus. This move with FIFA, however, would be a huge step up in terms of global viewership with fans from around the world excited to see the new 32-team version of the Club World Cup.

Yet, amidst the buzz, there's a hint of uncertainty. Details about whether the tournament will feature any free-to-air games are still unclear, causing a stir among FIFA’s higher-ups. Without any free-to-air games, all of the coverage would be restricted to Apple TV Plus subscribers. And for fans of major teams like Liverpool and Barcelona, you won't be seeing them on the biggest stage — they haven't qualified. You can find full details of the 2025 Club World Cup here.

This FIFA deal comes shortly after a report from The Athletic about an NBA deal that's also in the works. Apple is among the companies that could be involved in streaming live games at the end of the 2024/25 season. 2026 could be a big year for sports on Apple TV+.

While the name of the tournament isn't official yet, FIFA had previously reported that the competition would be called the Mundial de Clubes FIFA. We're awaiting official confirmation of the logistics of the event including host cities and the name, but Apple's involvement could play a determining factor.

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Connor Jewiss

Connor is a technology writer and editor, with a byline on multiple platforms. He has been writing for around seven years now across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech.

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