Apple announced Tuesday that Apple TV Plus will broadcast two live baseball games on Friday nights. These will be the first live sports games on Apple’s streaming service, which has previously only offered on-demand original shows and movies.
As soon as the regular season begins, Apple TV Plus will stream two exclusive Major League Baseball games, as well as before and postgame programming, under the name ‘Friday Night Baseball.’
The regular season has already been disrupted by early game cancellations due to a labor conflict lockout. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred canceled the opening week of regular-season games a week ago after the league and the players’ association failed to reach an agreement by their last deadline.
It lacks the scale of a large library, unlike its primary competitors. So far, Apple TV Plus has positioned itself as a low-cost choice for a smaller library of premium episodes and movies with high budgets, such as Ted Lasso, an award-winning sports dramedy, CODA, an Oscar nominee, and the sci-fi thriller Severance.
Netflix, the world’s most popular streaming video service with 221 million subscribers, does not broadcast live sports. However, as more types of content transition to streaming, many of its mainstreaming competitors have included live sports, attempting to make a claim to sports viewers’ attention.
Apple TV Plus was the first to enter the so-called “streaming wars,” a period when media and industry titans created a wave of new streaming services to compete with Netflix, with a multibillion-dollar budget to bring in some of Hollywood’s greatest stars.
This battle, which pits newcomers like Apple TV Plus, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and Peacock against established players like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, has prompted companies to invest billions of dollars in the hopes of influencing television’s future. More options to choose through — and pay for — as you try to figure out where to watch movies and television online.