Apple TV+ will show weekly Major League Baseball games in its first live sports deal – TechCrunch

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Following reports that Apple is on an “aggressive hunt” for new sports offerings for its Apple TV+ streaming service, Apple today announced that it is offering a number of Major League Baseball games exclusively on Apple TV+. The company said fans will be able to tune in to two Friday night games during the regular season, which will also include a pre-game and post-game show.

The games and shows will be available in eight countries, according to a joint announcement from Apple and MLB today. This includes the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. Apple said it plans to expand the offer to other countries at a later date.

In addition to what Apple has dubbed “Friday Night Baseball,” US fans will also be able to tune in to a new live show called “MLB Big Inning,” which will feature highlights and looks and air every night during the regular season. raison. And fans in the US and Canada will have access to a new 24/7 live stream with MLB game replays, news, analysis, highlights, classic games and more. more, plus on-demand programming that includes highlights and other original MLB content.

The games and shows will stream on the Apple TV+ service, where they won’t be subject to local streaming restrictions, Apple notes. Apple TV+ works on all devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple’s website at tv.apple.com, plus other game consoles , smart TV and some cable boxes through agreements with partners.

Notably, MLB games will serve as a way to attract users to the Apple TV+ streaming service. Apple says the games will be available on the service “for a limited time” without the need for a subscription. (The company didn’t say in a later briefing how long this “limited time” would last.)

“Like all baseball fans, we can’t wait for the season to open,” Peter Stern, Apple’s vice president of services, said in a statement. “Baseball holds a special place in the hearts of so many Apple customers, not just in the United States, but in many countries around the world. We are proud to make Apple TV+ the home of great baseball moments throughout throughout the season.

As part of the new deal, Apple and MLB will also provide enhanced league and team coverage for fans to follow in the Apple News app, which will also offer a way to watch highlights.

The news was announced during Apple’s live event on Tuesday, where the company showcased the latest updates for iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Reports that Apple was in talks with MLB for live sports had circulated last month. Other suitors included NBC Sports – its parent was interested in adding more sports content to its own streaming service, Peacock, which the deal would have allowed. The value of the transaction was between $100 million and $150 million, the New York Post had said.

Apple and MLB have worked closely together in previous years, as MLB has often been an early adopter of new Apple technologies, like ARKit, or services, like Apple Pay or Business Chat. Apple had also partnered with MLB to put iPads in dugouts.

“Apple is the perfect partner to bring ‘Friday Night Baseball’ to fans around the world,” MLB chief revenue officer Noah Garden said in a statement. “From milestones such as the launch of At Bat on the first day of the App Store in 2008 to the integration of Apple technology into ballparks across the country, this robust new gaming package is the next perfect collaboration in our long history of bringing innovative and quality content to our fans.With national availability and international reach, MLB on Apple TV+ offers an exciting new platform for fans that enables a larger audience off to connect to the game,” he said.

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