Apple released a news release following the announcement which provided more details about its partnership.
“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,” the news release stated. 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, and more, as well as a full complement of on-demand programming, including highlights and MLB-themed original content.
“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. “Friday Night Baseball” will be available on Apple TV+ — and, for a limited time, without the need for a subscription.”
Last week, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred officially announced his decision “to cancel some regular season games” amid reports of failed negotiations with the league’s players union.
The union reportedly rejected the league’s final proposal on a new collective-bargaining agreement ahead of its deadline on March 1, with MLB threatening to cancel Opening Day ceremonies set for March 31, ESPN‘s Jeff Passan reported prior to Manfred’s official announcement.
“BREAKING: MLBPA player leaders agreed unanimously not to accept MLB’s final proposal, and there will be no deal on a new collective-bargaining agreement before MLB’s 5 p.m. ET deadline, sources tell ESPN,” Passan tweeted. “MLB has threatened to cancel its March 31 Opening Day without a new deal.
The league reportedly offered to feature an increase from $25 million to $30 million in a pre-artibration bonus pool for each year of a player’s contract, but the union pitched for the pool to begin at $85 million and increase by $5 million annually during each year of the contract.