Apple TV+’s ‘Friday Night Baseball’ Goes Behind Paywall This Season, Will Again Be Produced by MLB Network
“Friday Night Baseball” will begin the 2023 season on Friday, April 7,
Apple and Major League Baseball will bring the “Friday Night Baseball” weekly doubleheader this season, beginning on April 7 with one major change: the games will only be available to Apple TV+ subscribers. During the opening season of Apple’s seven-year, $85 million streaming rights deal with MLB in 2022, games were available to all fans via Apple TV, but this season will see those games go behind the $6.99-a-month Apple TV+ paywall.
As was the case during its debut last season, “Friday Night Baseball” will be produced by MLB Network’s production team in partnership with Apple. Each game will feature state-of-the-art cameras to present vivid live-action shots, and offer immersive sound in 5.1 with Spatial Audio enabled. “Friday Night Baseball” will again utilize drone cameras for aerial stadium shots, as well as player mics and field-level mics to immerse fans in the gameplay and stadium atmosphere. Fans in the U.S. and Canada1 will also have the option to listen to the audio of the home and away teams’ local radio broadcasts during “Friday Night Baseball” games. Fans in 60 countries and regions will have access two marquee matchups over 25 weeks with no local broadcast restrictions.
“We can’t wait for ‘Friday Night Baseball’ to start up again, and we’re excited for fans to experience everything new we’re bringing this season,” says Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services. “Apple TV+ truly has something for everyone, from two live baseball games every Friday night, to an incredible slate of award-winning original films and series — there’s never been a better time to sign up.”
“Friday Night Baseball” will begin the 2023 season on Friday, April 7, with the Texas Rangers at the Chicago Cubs for the inaugural “Friday Night Baseball” daytime game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, and the San Diego Padres at the Atlanta Braves. Apple and MLB also announced the “Friday Night Baseball” schedule for the first half of the season, through June 30.
Beginning MLB Opening Day on Mar. 30, fans in the U.S. and Canada can also access MLB Big Inning whip-around show featuring live look-ins and in-game highlights every weeknight, and beginning in April, a full slate of MLB-related content including Countdown to First Pitch, MLB Daily Recap, and MLB This Week on Apple TV+. Fans can also access additional MLB programming for free in the Apple TV app, including “Friday Night Baseball” condensed game recaps after the completion of the live broadcasts each week; classic games; highlights and interviews; and more.2
Fans can also access baseball content this season across Apple services. In Apple News, fans can easily follow the league and their favorite teams in My Sports, and watch personalized MLB highlights right in the News app. Each Friday, fans can also access a curated group of the buzziest stories from around the league, and tap to watch “Friday Night Baseball” directly in the Apple TV app with a subscription to Apple TV+. In Apple Music, fans can find exclusive official playlists featuring the walk-up songs from each week’s “Friday Night Baseball” teams, as well as a collection of classic songs celebrating baseball.
In the U.S., DIRECTV FOR BUSINESS will be the exclusive national home of “Friday Night Baseball” for commercial establishments in 2023. DIRECTV will deliver all the action to its network of more than 300,000 restaurants, bars, hotel lounges, retail shops, and other venues throughout the regular season on existing satellite equipment. In Canada, several providers will offer “Friday Night Baseball” to commercial establishments, offering fans additional ways to enjoy the games.