Apple to start streaming live MLB games on Apple TV+

A banner promoting Friday Night Baseball on Apple TV+

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.

Boston Red Sox caught using Apple Watch to steal opponents’ signs

Investigators for Major League Baseball have determined that the Boston Red Sox executed a scheme to illicitly steal hand signals from opponents' catchers in games, reports The New York Times. Citing several people briefed on the matter, the outlet says a member of the Red Sox's training staff used his Apple Watch to communicate with video replay personnel and then passed the intel onto his players.

The inquiry began roughly two weeks ago, after the Yankee's general manager Brian Cashman filed a detailed complaint with the commissioner's office that included a video the team shot of the Red Sox dugout during a three-game series last month. The video showed the staff member looking at his Apple Watch in the dugout and relaying a message—possibly what type of pitch was going to be thrown—to players.

Spying on other teams to try and steal their hand signals has long been a part of baseball. It's frowned upon, but not illegal, as long as you don't use any electronic devices. When confronted by the commissioner's office, the Red Sox admitted the operation has been up and running for several weeks. They also said the Yankees were using cameras to steal their hand signals. No word yet on possible penalties.

Source: The New York Times

Top image: AP Elise Amendola

Facebook signs video deals with Electronic Sports League and Major League Baseball

Facebook has signed major deals with Electronic Sports League (ESL) and Major League Baseball (MLB), bringing fans of eSports and baseball both live and on-demand content in its ongoing streaming video push.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the social network is paying professional video game teams and others in the eSports industry to broadcast on its service.

Earlier this year, Facebook signed contracts with five teams to publish live and on-demand video of players practicing or competing in such games as StarCraft II, Counter-Strike, League of Legends and Overwatch.

ESL said in a blog post announcing the deal that its official Facebook page will soon stream all IEM and ESL One events in up to six different languages along with select national championship and online leagues. Viewers will be able to post comments, highlight up and coming players and more via an exclusive new weekly show on Facebook.

In addition to the 30 hours of weekly Rank S streaming, there'll be a weekly 30-minute hosted by Mark “Boq” Wilson, focused on Rank S and the current happenings in ESEA and CS:GO.

These broadcasts will start next month with Rank S matches.

Down the line, they'll host video interviews with the famous players, competition commentary and more. ESL broadcasts competitions on Twitch and YouTube, too.

You can find the ESEA announcement on their website.

As mentioned earlier, Facebook also cut a major deal with MLB that will result in 20 live-streamed Friday night MLB games via MLB's Facebook page during the 2017 season. US-based Facebook users will be able to stream the games for free. The first game is scheduled to broadcast tonight, Friday, May 19, with the Colorado Rockies and Cincinnati Reds facing off.

Facebook in talks to live stream MLB games this season

Facebook is in talks with Major League Baseball to live stream games this season, reports Reuters. The deal would include at least one game per week, which could be accessed for free by users logged into the platform.

The move comes just a week after Facebook announced plans for a video-focused Apple TV app, as part of the social network's efforts to push further into original programming—a strategy shared by several tech firms.

Siri is now a baseball savant

Siri is now a baseball savant: Apple's personal digital assistant's been refreshed in the cloud with official data on thousands of Major League Baseball players and historic baseball statistics. “Siri also knows the history and stats of 27 other pro, minor and international leagues,” writes CNET.

The update is likely the result of Apple's new tie-up with the Major League Baseball which provides every team with iPad Pros while permitting sports announcers to finally call tablets “iPads”.

MasterCard accepting Apple Pay for 2015 MLB All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park

MasterCard on Friday announced it'll enable Apple Pay at Great American Ball Park in time for the 2015 MLB All-Star game. Fans attending the game in Cincinnati will be permitted to pay for on-site food and merchandise with their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch during the week-long festivities, the card issuer has said.

Realized through partnership with Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the initiative will bring NFC contactless payment acceptance to the 2015 MLB All-Star Week festivities so owners of NFC-enabled Android handsets may be able to make on-site purchases with their phones.

T-Mobile again offering free MLB At Bat Premium subscription to customers

Football season has long been over and basketball is getting there, but baseball season is just getting started. And for fans of the sport who are either on T-Mobile, or thinking about it, you'll be interested to know that the carrier is once again offering MLB At Bat Premium to customers.

As noted by Droid-Life, the promotion is season-long, beginning May 1 and running through the end of September. To qualify, customers must download the MLB At Bat app on Android or iOS while on T-Mobile's network—you will not get the discount if you are on Wi-Fi or roaming.

Royals and Giants ballparks accepting Apple Pay during World Series

Folks lucky enough to be attending the World Series over the next week will be happy to hear that Apple Pay payments will be accepted at both Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City and AT&T Park in San Francisco. MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) announced the availability this afternoon.

In conjunction with MasterCard, MLBAM says it worked hard to bring a variety of contactless payment services and devices to the ballparks in time for the Championship series, which will allow attendees to purchase food and beverages at concession stands using their own smartphones.