Major League Baseball and Apple have announced “Friday Night Baseball,” a new weekly doubleheader with live pre-game and post-game shows that will be available exclusively on Apple TV+ once the 2022 regular season begins.
Friday night games will be free from local streaming restrictions, but fans will not be able to watch designated streams through team broadcasts or an MLB.TV subscription.
The service will initially start without the need for a subscription, but fans will eventually need to subscribe to Apple TV+ to continue watching, making it a potential fourth service needed to watch games, along with MLB TV, a service from live television and YouTube.
“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 delivering innovative and quality content to our fans.
“Friday Night Baseball” will be available on Apple TV+ in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom, and will expand to other countries later.
In addition to “Friday Night Baseball,” fans in the United States will be able to enjoy “MLB Big Inning,” a live show featuring highlights and insights that airs weeknights during the regular season.
Baseball fans in the United States and Canada will also have access to a new 24/7 live stream featuring MLB game replays, news and analysis, highlights, classic games and more, plus a full lineup of on-demand programming, including highlights and MLB-themed original content.
Apple and MLB will also provide enhanced league and team coverage so fans can easily follow the league or their favorite teams in Apple News, with the ability to watch highlights directly in the News app.
“Like all baseball fans, we can’t wait for the season to open,” said Apple vice president of services Peter Stern.
“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.
Apple TV is available on all Apple devices, as well as online. The app is also available on Amazon Fire TV, Roku devices, Chromecast with Google TV, select smart TVs, game consoles, and select cable and satellite boxes.
MLB lockdown set to extend through April
More than three months have passed since MLB team owners voted unanimously to impose a lockout after the 2017-21 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expired and little progress has been made.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has already canceled Opening Day and the first two series of the 2022 regular season. Since then, other spring training games have been removed from the schedule.
With MLB and the union continuing to meet this week ahead of another deadline, there isn’t much hope that a new CBA will be in place so the season can start in April.
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