Apple today unveiled details about its Friday Night Baseball games, which debut on Apple TV+, April 8.
“Friday Night Baseball” games and additional content, including new exclusive programs such as “Countdown to First Pitch” and “MLB Daily Recap,” begin today in the Apple TV app.
The broadcast team includes Melanie Newman (play-by-play), Chris Young (analyst), Hannah Keyser (analyst), and Brooke Fletcher (reporter) will call the New York Mets at the Washington Nationals at 7 p.m. ET; and Stephen Nelson (play-by-play), Hunter Pence (analyst), Katie Nolan (analyst), and Heidi Watney (reporter) comprise the crew that will call the Houston Astros at the Los Angeles Angels game at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Game assignments for “Friday Night Baseball” broadcasters will be announced on a weekly basis. In her new role with “Friday Night Baseball,” Newman becomes the second woman to lead play-by-play duties for a national broadcast team; she joined the Baltimore Orioles’ broadcast team in 2020.
Apple has hired MLB Network’s production team to produce the games and Apple says the coverage ”will offer a modern and dynamic broadcast experience that appeals to new viewers and veteran fans alike.”
Each game broadcast will employ state-of-the-art cameras, including high-speed Phantoms, the high-resolution Megalodon, and more throughout the season to present vivid, live-action shots, and offer immersive sound in 5.1 with spatial audio enabled.
“Friday Night Baseball” will also incorporate new on-screen graphics that include new probabilities-based forecasts of different situational outcomes, plus highlights and live look-ins from around the league integrated right into the broadcast. Throughout the “Friday Night Baseball” broadcasts, fans will be able to listen to on-screen callouts about batters’ walk-up songs from Apple Music, test their knowledge of baseball trivia with help from Siri, and more. And, in a first for MLB games, “Friday Night Baseball” will feature rules analysis and interpretation from former MLB umpire Brian Gorman.
“Friday Night Baseball” live pre- and postgame coverage will be hosted by Lauren Gardner, along with a rotating group of analysts and former Major League Baseball (MLB) players, including Carlos Peña, Cliff Floyd, and Yonder Alonso.
In addition to two marquee games on Friday nights throughout the regular season, Apple TV+ will offer new 24/7 live programming with MLB game replays, news and analysis, highlights, classic games, and more. On Thursday, “Countdown to First Pitch” will preview the week’s upcoming games, and every morning, “MLB Daily Recap” will offer highlights from across the league, both available only on Apple TV+. The “MLB Big Inning” whip-around show will feature live look-ins and in-game highlights every weeknight. Additionally, fans will be able to watch full games, as well as condensed game replays, on demand on Apple TV+ after the completion of the live broadcasts each week.
“Friday Night Baseball” games will be available on any device that carries Apple TV+, including on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV 4K and HD, and on tv.apple.com, along with smart TVs, gaming consoles, and cable set-top boxes. “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 for a limited time, without the need for a subscription.
Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.
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