Apple agrees first sports rights deal with MLB
Apple has made its first big foray into live sports broadcasting by obtaining a package of Major League Baseball (MLB) rights in 9 regions, including the US and Canada. Although no financial terms have yet to be public information, the multi-year agreement would see the Apple TV+ streaming platform exclusively broadcast a weekly MLB Friday night doubleheader beginning with the lockout-delayed 2022 season.
A first for Apple
MLB will produce the Apple broadcasts, which will not be carried by the participating teams’ regional sports network (RSN) partners. In addition to MLB’s home areas in North America, Apple’s live game broadcast contract includes Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. More areas are expected to be introduced during the course of this new deal.
This new arrangement also includes Apple obtaining MLB’s live look-in rights in the US, which were previously abandoned by DAZN in 2020. To cap off the evening, Apple TV+ will air an ‘MLB Big Inning’ whip-around show. Not only that, but we can also watch a live stream of game replays, news, highlights, and historic matches 24/7. The agreement also includes a digital highlights package for Apple News.
This agreement is the first in a string of broadcast collaborations for the technology powerhouse as it expands Apple TV+. We may begin to see more deals coming our way! According to Front Office Sports, Apple may be acquiring a portfolio of NFL media assets, including out-of-market Sunday Ticket rights.
This move is following milestones including the release of At Bat on the first day of the App Store. This is not all as we saw the integration of Apple technology in ballparks across the country. This new game package is the next collaboration in its long history of providing quality and innovative content to fans. MLB on Apple TV+ provides fans with an exciting new platform that allows a bigger audience to connect with the game, with national and international availability.