Lost in the sea of announcements today is that Apple will soon be offering live streams of baseball games. The company has partnered with the MLB for ‘Friday Night Baseball,’ an initiative that will bring two marque regular season games to Apple TV+ every week.
The weekly doubleheader won’t be subject to regional blackouts, and will include both pre-and postgame live shows. The news comes at an interesting time, as an ongoing labor dispute between the MLB and MLB Players Association is threatening to delay the season.
Here’s a note from Apple’s Peter Stern on the pact:
“Just like all baseball fans, we can’t wait for the season to open,” said Peter Stern, Apple’s vice president of Services. “Baseball has a special place in the heart of so many Apple customers — not just in the United States, but in many countries around the world. We’re proud to make Apple TV+ the home for great baseball moments throughout the season.”
And from MLB’s Noah Garden:
“Apple is the ideal partner to bring ‘Friday Night Baseball’ to fans around the world,” said Noah Garden, MLB’s chief revenue officer. “Following milestones like the launch of At Bat on day one of the App Store in 2008 to the integration of Apple technology in ballparks across the country, this robust new game package is the perfect next collaboration in our long history of offering quality and innovative content to our fans. With national availability and international reach, MLB on Apple TV+ offers an exciting new platform to fans that allows a wider audience to connect with the game.”
The new partnership is extensive. In addition to the live games, the package also includes:
- A nightly live show called MLB Big Inning, which will offer highlights and look-ins at games during the regular season
- A new 24/7 livestream with MLB game replays, news and analysis, highlights, classic games and more (US and Canada only)
- A full compliment of on-demand programming, including highlights and MLB-themed original content (US and Canada only)
- Enhanced MLB coverage with in-article highlights on Apple News
“Friday Night Baseball” will be available on Apple TV+ (even non-subscribers, initially) in the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and the UK, and will expand to additional countries at a later date.