On Friday, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge will attempt to break the American League single-season home run record.
The only place to watch the Yankees take on the Red Sox on Friday is Apple TV+, a streaming service, which has some Yankee fans concerned because they want to watch the game on YES Network and with the team’s regular broadcasters.
Before the game, Yankee fans who were upset with Apple found a new ally in New York Attorney General Letitia James, who asked Apple to allow the game to be broadcast on YES Network.
“New Yorkers paid their cable bills with the expectation of seeing live sports programming.” “Now they’re being asked to pay extra to watch this exciting home run chase, and potentially historic game,” James said in a statement. “That’s why I’m calling on Apple and the MLB to reach a fair agreement with the YES Network so that fans can watch what we all hope will be history made this evening.”
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Nobody, however, has to pay to watch the Friday Night Baseball broadcast; it’s free for anyone who creates or already has an Apple account. Baseball is available without paying the $5 monthly fee for Apple TV+.
Apple said earlier this year that baseball games were free “for a limited time” but has yet to start charging.
Users do not need an Apple device to watch: In a departure from its previous practices, has created Apple TV+ apps for a variety of non-Apple platforms, including Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, Google TV, and game consoles, allowing its broadcasts to reach a wider audience. You can even watch them on any computer that has a web browser and adequate internet access.
“While there is a way to watch the game without paying more, it creates requirements such as an Apple ID, a smart TV or streaming device, or Wi-Fi or cellular service,” James later clarified.
The incident exemplifies the tension that is brewing as high-profile sports broadcasts shift from linear TV to streaming services like Apple’s. Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees have attempted to clear up the confusion by posting how-to guides on social media and their websites.
On Friday, Apple enlisted comedian Jon Stewart, who has a show on Apple TV+, to inform viewers that there will be no paywall. He joked that he persuaded “Mr. App,” an Apple executive, to make the game free.
“All you need is the app, and that’s on everything,” Stewart joked in the video. “It’s probably already on your phone, your TV, your microwave, behind your eyeballs, because Apple is very technically adept.”