Baseball fans are set to get access to Friday Night Baseball for free over the coming weeks, thanks to a partnership between Apple TV Plus and MLB.
The deal, which has been struck for the 2022 season, begins on April 8 and viewers will not need an Apple TV Plus subscription — or a free trial — in order to watch the games.
The first half of the season falls under this offer, with games available to watch through June 24. There is not yet an update on whether the second half of the season will also be free to watch.
Streaming is available for viewers in territories across the globe — the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, Puerto Rico and Mexico.
What’s more, those who are watching from the US will be able to watch a new live show called MLB Big Inning, which features highlights, look-ins and more.
In the US and Canada, there will also be a livestream shown around the clock which provides MLB games and replays, news, highlights, analysis and classic games as well as on-demand programs.
An added bonus of this partnership is that the games and shows will not be subject to local broadcast restrictions.
Apple has also revealed that the MLB plans to mark Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, as the date will be the 75th anniversary of Robinson’s debut in the Major League.
The first games on the schedule will be the New York Mets vs the Washington Nationals, and this will be broadcast live from Nationals Park in Washington, DC, from 7 pm ET. After that, the Houston Astros will face off against the Los Angeles Angels live from Angel Stadium at 9:30 pm ET. The full schedule can be found here (opens in new tab).
The partnership was originally announced at Apple’s Peek Performance event in March, where it also unveiled Mac Studio and the iPhone SE. At the time, Apple’s vice president of services Peter Stern said in a statement: “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 Plus the home for great baseball moments throughout the season.”
This partnership marks Apple’s first major foray into the live sports coverage industry — an area it has been circling for a while. Indeed, this is not Apple and MLB’s first deal, as one of the first apps which went live on the App store back in 2008 was MLB at Bat.
Apple is also reportedly looking into covering other leagues, such as NFL games once the Sunday Ticket expires, after the next season.
Imogen Groome is a writer, who has a background in content SEO, streaming and showbiz writing for UK tabloids including Metro Online and The Sun Online. She began writing about streaming in 2019 and discovered one of her reality TV obsessions in the process, 90 Day Fiance.
She currently spends most of her free time watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians and is very relieved to know she can immediately switch to the Hulu show once she’s finished season 20. Her favourite movies include Cloud Atlas, The Green Mile, 8 Mile and probably any other movie with the word ‘mile’ in it.
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