NYP: Apple in ‘Serious Talks’ With MLB for Baseball Broadcast Rights

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has been talking with Major League Baseball about broadcasting MLB games on its Apple TV+ service starting in the 2022 season, according to a report in the New York Post, which characterized the talks as “substantial.”

The MLB is selling the ESPN daytime MLB broadcasts that the network recently ended. The ESPN rights were not exclusive to local games. If approved, Apple would be the fifth streaming service to offer live MLB games; MLB.TV, YouTube and Facebook have all streamed live MLB games and Amazon Prime streamed 21 Yankees games in the 2021 season.

Apple TV+’s production budget is currently $6.5 billion, far smaller than its rivals Netflix, Amazon Prime and it currently has the smallest share of streaming subscribers among the streaming services. Apple has offered the MLB app on its Apple TV device since 2008 and offers sports streaming from other providers on its Apple TV, but if approved, the deal would represent Apple’s first foray into major sports broadcasts in the U.S. on its Apple TV+ service.

Everything is contingent, however on MLB reaching a deal (opens in new tab)with its players before the 2022 season; the two sides are currently at a stalemate with the league locking players out.

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.