Keeping track of subscriptions will be key to watching Major League Baseball, even more so in 2022. Apple and MLB reached agreement to televise two exclusive “Friday Night Baseball” games per week on Apple TV+, beginning this season once the lockout ends.
The Friday games on Apple TV+ won’t be shown on local broadcast feeds, which means Dodgers game on “Friday Night Baseball” would not also have an alternate telecast on SportsNet LA. This is similar to MLB games on YouTube in recent years. Those were exclusive to YouTube, which is a free service. Apple TV+ is a subscription service, however. But at least to start, it looks like Apple TV+ games might be available for free.
From Apple’s press release:
Fans will be able to watch marquee games on Friday nights, free from local broadcast restrictions, across devices where Apple TV+ can be found, including 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. “Friday Night Baseball” will be available on Apple TV+ — and, for a limited time, without the need for a subscription.
In addition to the Friday night games, Apple TV+ will also carry “MLB Big Inning,” a weeknight show with highlights and live look-ins that was available on MLBtv at least last season.
A new slate of televised games brings more revenue into MLB, though it hasn’t yet been revealed how much the deal with Apple is worth. In February, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported that MLB was seeking between $100-150 million annually for its weekday games, and that in addition to Apple, the league was also talking with NBC Sports for possible streaming on Peacock, yet another streaming service.
Now we just have to figure out when those weekday MLB games might start.