Apple has reportedly signed a licensing deal with the Premier League that will allow the inclusion of archive footage, real-life badges and the trophy itself in future seasons of soccer drama Ted Lasso.
The agreement, worth £500,000 according to The Athletic, should mean the show’s third season will feel more authentic than ever, which Apple presumably hopes will translate into increased viewing figures.
Ted Lasso season 2 is streaming now on Apple TV Plus, and picks up where the series’ debut crop of episodes left off. The season finale is scheduled to land on Friday, October 8.
The Jason Sudekis-led show, which follows the fortunes of the fictional AFC Richmond, has undoubtedly been the biggest hit so far for Apple’s still-young streaming platform. Season 1 was credited with bringing in 25% new viewers, so it makes sense that the company is doing all it can to double down on the success of future seasons.
It is thought that the Premier League wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about the show when it first premiered in August of last year, but its subsequent popularity has prompted executives to sit up and take notice of its potential as an overseas advertisement.
As per The Athletic, this licensing deal is therefore intended to drive further global interest in the Premier League itself, as well as provide Ted Lasso with a more life-like aesthetic – the same principle that permits EA, for instance, to use accurate club and player likenesses in its FIFA soccer simulators.
Analysis: Apple’s first home run
Ted Lasso is, by most accounts, still the best show on Apple TV Plus.
New series like Foundation and The Shrink Next Door seem set to ensure the platform will enjoy a period of growth in the coming months, but Apple’s soccer show undoubtedly remains its biggest hitter thanks to a winning combination of charm and emotion that keeps it feeling fresh.
Apple knows it, too. The company renewed Ted Lasso for a third season before season 2 even began filming, which speaks to its faith in the ability of Jason Sudekis’ eponymous protagonist to deliver pleasing audience figures for years to come.
We don’t yet know when Ted Lasso season 3 will arrive – as above, its season 2 finale is landing on October 8 – but there’s every chance that this deal with the Premier League could see it become the series’ best so far.
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