Apple Announces Friday Night Baseball, ‘MLB Big Inning’ Coming to Apple TV+
On Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that if/when the Major League Baseball season eventually gets underway, the National Pastime will have a significant home on Apple TV+. The streamer will be home to a weekly doubleheader on Friday nights — appropriately titled “Friday Night Baseball” — as well as “MLB Big Inning,” a show similar to the “NFL RedZone” that bounces between broadcasts to bring fans can’t-miss highlights from all of the games around the league.
Available in eight countries, fans will be able to stream the “Friday Night Baseball” games without having to worry about local broadcast restrictions, which have often caused problems for cordcutters in the past. Viewers in the United States and Canada will also be able to watch MLB game replays, highlights, classic games, news, analysis, and more thanks to a 24/7 livestream, on-demand option.
“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.”
As Apple continues its attempts to draw subscribers to its streaming service, the move into live sports has long been part of the discussion. For years, live sports have been the most consistent draws across broadcast, cable, and streaming television. Until this partnership was announced, Apple TV+ had not yet had any live sports on the platform, but this could be just the beginning of a new era in streaming sports.
In January, reports began circulating that the platform was in talks to become a streaming partner with Major League Baseball. And earlier this week, word started leaking out that Apple was hoping to gobble up all of the NFL’s available rights in order to become the home of [NFL Sunday Ticket,] RedZone, and more.
While the live rights around “Friday Night Baseball” will deservedly get the majority of the headlines, “Big Inning” will likely be a draw and destination for baseball diehards as well. Launched last year by MLB.TV, which will also carry the channels, it airs on weekday evenings and broadcast the biggest moments from all of the games being played throughout the telecast. Last season, the show began airing at 9:30 p.m. ET, and while Apple indicated that it will continue to air every weeknight of the regular season, they have not yet specified the exact window for the show. Most weeknight MLB games in the eastern time zone have a first-pitch around 7:05 p.m. ET.
“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. Additionally, Apple and MLB will roll out functionality that will allow fans to easily follow content from and about their favorite teams from across the suite of Apple products, including the ability to watch highlights in the Apple News app.
Apple TV+ is a subscription video streaming service for $4.99 a month that includes high-quality originals shows and movies including Best Picture winner “CODA,” popular sitcom “Ted Lasso,” and dramas like “The Morning Show” and “For All Mankind.” Apple TV+ is also home to MLB baseball games on Friday nights.
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If you purchase an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV, you can get a free year of Apple TV+.