Apple is making a stronger push into content and live-streaming as it ties up with Major League Baseball (MLB) for “Friday Night Baseball”. Apple will stream live pre- and postgame shows that will be available to fans in eight countries exclusively on Apple TV+ as soon as the regular season begins. These countries are United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to “Friday Night Baseball,” fans in the US will be able to enjoy “MLB Big Inning,” a live show featuring highlights and look-ins airing every weeknight during the regular season. Baseball fans in the US and Canada will also have access to a new 24/7 livestream with MLB game replays, news and analysis, highlights, classic games, as well as a full complement of on-demand programming, including highlights and MLB-themed original content.
Apple said that 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.
Peter Stern, Apple’s vice president of Services said, “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.”
Apple and MLB will also provide enhanced league and team coverage for fans to easily follow the league or their favorite teams in Apple News, with the ability to watch highlights right in the News app. According to CNBC, five minutes before Apple’s show, over 150,000 people are streaming the event on YouTube. At the time of writing, the event garnered over four million views.
Last year, the Apple event opened with a video highlighting some of the shows which will be premiering on the company's streaming service Apple TV+, including the second season of The Morning Show starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. From original series, films and docuseries, CEO Tim Cook (pictured) said Apple TV+ currently had over 500 nominations and 130 wins for its shows. Similarly, this year, Cook also began with Apple TV+, introducing several original films coming soon to the platform, featuring some big name actors such as Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds.
During Apple's third quarter 2021 investor call, CFO Luca Maestri said its newer service offerings, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Card, Apple Fitness+ as well as the Apple One bundle, continue to scale across users, content, and features and are contributing to overall services growth. According to him, the number of both transacting and paid accounts on its digital content stores reached "a new all-time high" during the June quarter in each geographic segment, and paid accounts increased double digits.
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