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How Will Apple TV+ Attract Subscribers When ‘Ted Lasso’ is Over?

Tom Wilton

If the team behind Apple TV+ hit “Ted Lasso” is to be taken at their word, the show very well might come to an end after its upcoming third season. And, with those episodes currently in production, it would seem the final whistle for the hit comedy is not far away. So what will Apple do when it no longer has its first breakthrough, tent-pole property to attract subscribers to its streaming platform?

Brett Goldstein, the actor behind bad-tempered Roy Kent and one of the writers on the show, is the latest figure to suggest that “Ted Lasso” will indeed wrap up after its next outing.

“It was planned as three [seasons],” said Goldstein in a recent interview with British publication The Sunday Times. “Spoiler alert: everyone dies.”

Goldstein’s comments follow similar sentiments from co-creators Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt (a.k.a. Coach Beard), and Ted Lasso himself, Jason Sudeikis. In conversation with Entertainment Weekly last year, the trio talked about Season 3 being the final batch of episodes for the men and women of AFC Richmond.

‘Ted Lasso’ was Apple’s First Huge Hit

“Ted Lasso” has undoubtedly been a huge hit for Apple TV+. Not only has the show captivated fans since its first season, but it has also picked up a handful of Emmy wins, including the Outstanding Comedy Series at last year’s event. Indeed, the show has come a long way after starting life as a commercial for NBC's Premier League coverage.

But to get a better sense of how important “Ted Lasso” has been for Apple, it’s perhaps helpful to remember where Apple TV+ was before the show debuted.

Ted Lasso

2020 M08 14

Ted Lasso is in de Verenigde Staten coach van een American Footballteam op het College-niveau. In plaats van dat de beste man binnen zijn eigen land carrière probeert te maken, neemt hij een opmerkelijke stap richting het Verenigd Koninkrijk. Daar wordt hij aangesteld als trainer van een voetbalteam. En daar sta je dan als onnozele Amerikaan midden in de Britse cultuur met een sport waar je eigenlijk totaal geen kaas van hebt gegeten.

Apple launched its video streaming service in 2019 with buzzy titles like “The Morning Show” and “See.” Although initially offered as a standalone subscription, the reality was that many of its viewers were Apple hardware customers who received the streaming platform as an add-on bonus.

Related: Are Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video Poised for Big Gains as Other Streamers Pull Back?

In hindsight, that was a savvy move by the company because, as much as Apple TV+ offered some well-received programming, there simply wasn’t very much of it. And of what there was, none of it really constituted “must-watch” TV. But in August 2020, that all changed when the now-beloved fish-out-of-water soccer comedy premiered.

At the time, the globe was still in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, and so naturally, millions of people turned to movies and TV shows to help them escape the drudgery of being cooped up inside. It’s perhaps no surprise that a show about a plucky coach haplessly muddling his way through a world he only vaguely understood would resonate like it did. Very quickly, “Ted Lasso” became a word-of-mouth hit, no doubt helped along by the fact that Apple TV+ was, at the time, free for many.

Apple has Invested in Lots of Shows and Movies

Fast forward to the present and a lot has changed for the streamer. For the most part, audiences are no longer living through lockdowns, and Apple TV+ is only offered as a premium subscription. However, it’s also worth noting that the service has also expanded its roster of Apple Originals, adding a slew of well-received shows and films. From “Physical” to “Severance,” from spy drama “Slow Horses” to Oscar-winning movie “CODA,” Apple has very actively invested in content that it believes people will want to pay for. Very few streaming platforms have had the critical and audience success rate that Apple TV+ has had in its first few years of operation.

So while, in many ways, “Ted Lasso” might have been the show that built Apple TV+, Apple seems to have understood for a while that there would always come a day when the “Believe” poster is no longer hanging in the AFC Richmond locker room. But if the company keeps investing in new content, it’s likely to increase its chances of scoring with another major hit before too long.

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