Apple TV + lands Friday Night MLB streaming package with Peacock in the mix for a Wednesday night Game of the Week.

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple will enter the live sports coverage arena with “Friday Night Baseball.”

Apple and Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that Apple TV+ will carry a weekly doubleheader on Friday nights in eight countries when the regular season begins. Games will initially be available without the need for an Apple TV+ subscription.

The games will be exclusively on Apple TV+ and will not be available on teams’ regional sports networks.

MLB has been under a work stoppage since owners locked out players at the end of the collective bargaining agreement. At 97 days, it is the second-longest work stoppage in baseball history.

The broadcasts on Apple TV+ will include pregame and postgame shows and will not be subject to local broadcast blackout restrictions. They will be produced by MLB Network.

Besides being shown in the United States, Canada and Mexico, games will also initially be available in Australia, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

The agreement also includes the “MLB Big Inning” weekday show for fans in the US as well as a livestream channel for those watching in the US and Canada.

Meanwhile, NBC/Peacock is close to a deal on airing a Wednesday Night Game of the Week, to fill in for ESPN doing the Sunday night games while TBS will move their broadcasts to Tuesday nights.

Apple and MLB have been closely aligned for years. MLB At Bat was one of the first apps to go live on the Apple app store in 2008.

The deal also comes as Apple is looking to expand to other leagues. The company has been pursuing streaming of NFL games when the league’s “Sunday Ticket” expires at the end of the upcoming season. Right now Apple is in competition with Amazon who inked a long term deal with the NFL and also wants the Sunday Ticket package.


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