There’s another shakeup in the sports streaming landscape.
Apple TV+ and Major League Baseball have struck a deal for Friday Night Baseball—assuming that there is actually an MLB season this year, that is.
The streamer will have an exclusive weekly doubleheader with live pre- and postgame shows in eight countries, as soon as the regular season begins. Friday night baseball television rights were previously only regional.
“Just like all baseball fans, we can’t wait for the season to open,” said Peter Stern, Apple’s vice president of services, 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+ the home for great baseball moments throughout the season.”
While Apple TV+, known for hits like Ted Lasso and The Morning Show, costs $5 per month, the company said that Friday Night Baseball will be available to fans “for a limited time” without a subscription.
The streamer is also launching MLB Big Inning, a live show featuring highlights and look-ins that will air every night during the regular season in the U.S. In the U.S. and Canada there will also be a 24/7 livestream with game replays, news and analysis, highlights, classic games as well as on-demand programming including highlights and MLB-themed original content.
Baseball marks the first sports deal for Apple TV+, which has not reported subscriber numbers since the streamer launched in 2019.
“Apple is the ideal partner to bring Friday Night Baseball to fans around the world,” said Noah Garden, MLB’s chief revenue officer, in a statement. “Following milestones like the launch of At Bat on day one of the App Store in 2008 to the integration of Apple technology in ballparks across the country, this robust new game package is the perfect next collaboration in our long history of offering quality and innovative content to our fans. With national availability and international reach, MLB on Apple TV+ offers an exciting new platform to fans that allows a wider audience to connect with the game.”
It’s still unclear when—or even if—Apple TV+ will begin streaming games this season, given that the MLB and its players have been unable to come to a new collective bargaining agreement. The regular season was originally set to kick off March 31, but that has been postponed until at least the second week of April as negotiations continue.