CUPERTINO, Calif.—Apple and Major League Baseball (MLB) have inked a major rights deal giving Apple TV+ rights to stream “Friday Night Baseball,” a weekly doubleheader with live pre- and postgame shows that will be available to fans in eight countries exclusively on Apple TV+ as soon as the regular season begins.
The MLB and the players union are currently locked in a labor dispute that has delayed the start of the regular season and it isn’t clear how soon the two sides might come to a new agreement.
When the season does begin, “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 additional countries at a later date.
In addition to “Friday Night Baseball,” Apple TV+ will offer “MLB Big Inning,” a live show featuring highlights and look-ins airing every weeknight during the regular season.
Baseball fans in the US and Canada will also have access to a new 24/7 livestream with MLB game replays, news and analysis, highlights, classic games, and more, as well as a full complement of on-demand programming, including highlights and MLB-themed original content, Apple said.
The deal will allow fans to watch marquee games on Friday nights, free from local broadcast restrictions, on the Apple TV+ app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV 4K and HD, and on tv.apple.com, along with select smart TVs, gaming consoles, and cable set-top boxes, Apple said.
“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.”
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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