Apple's Friday Night Baseball returns April 7th, but you'll need a subscription to watch
But you still don’t need to worry about blackouts.
Apple’s Major League Baseball broadcast lineup no longer includes free games for non-subscribers. The company announced today that its “Friday Night Baseball” doubleheaders, which resume on April 7th, now require an Apple TV+ subscription.
During the 2022 baseball season, anyone could stream the Friday night games on Apple TV+ without a subscription. However, the company did note at the time that the offer would only be available for a limited time. It was Apple’s first foray into live sports after negotiating a seven-year with MLB worth $595 million.
Although the games are now locked behind a subscription, Apple’s deal doesn’t include blackouts for local teams, a rarity in non-network-TV sports broadcasting. Additionally, it’s worth noting that while Apple bills its Friday-night lineups as “doubleheaders,” the two games often air simultaneously. The first game on April 7th is an exception, fearing the Texas Rangers vs. Chicago Cubs at 2 PM ET and the San Diego Padres vs. Atlanta Braves at 7 PM ET. You can browse Apple’s schedule (up to June 30th).
Apple’s 2023 in-game broadcast lineup includes Wayne Randazzo (play-by-play), Dontrelle Willis (analyst), Heidi Watney (sideline reporter), Alex Faust (play-by-play), Ryan Spilborghs (analyst) and Tricia Whitaker (sideline reporter). In addition, pre- and postgame coverage brings back host Lauren Gardner, along with Siera Santos, Xavier Scruggs, Matt Joyce, Russell Dorsey and former MLB umpires Brian Gorman and Dale Scott.
Although baseball was Apple’s first dive into live sports, the company also now hosts Major League Soccer Season Pass, which costs an extra $13 per month or $79 for the season ($15 / mo. or $99 / season for non-Apple TV+ subscribers). Additionally, Apple recently partnered with T-Mobile to give its wireless subscribers full-season access for free. Given that Apple TV+ is only three years old, the iPhone maker has moved quickly to flesh out its streaming platform far beyond Ted Lasso.