“Friday Night Baseball” will be available on Apple TV+—and, for a limited time, without the need for a subscription.The games will be available free from local broadcast restrictions, across devices where Apple TV+ can be found, including on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV 4K and HD, and on tv.apple.com, along with select smart TVs, streaming services like Roku and Amazon Fire, gaming consoles and cable set-top boxes. It’s expected to be available in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea and the United Kingdom. There will also be a livestream channel for U.S. and Canadian viewers; one can imagine some sort of equivalent to the Manningcast.
For Apple, it’s the first move to the live sports realm, one that may end up including the NFL Sunday Ticket package, which will be available for bidding at the end of the 2022 NFL season. DirecTV current holds those rights, but the NFL has made no secret about wanting to expand potential suitors for the package–and the emergence of streaming services will surely expand that list. MLB had reportedly been talking with NBC about a sale of Friday Night Baseball for the company’s Peacock streaming service.
“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.”
“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.”