The second season of MLB on Apple TV+ will now only be available to paying subscribers after games were free in its debut season.
MLB Opening Day is just over a week away, and baseball fans will have to pay more to watch their favorite teams on Friday nights.
After Apple’s first season of weekly MLB doubleheaders was free on Apple TV+ last season, the 2023 season will only be available to subscribers who pay the regular $6.99 per month fee. The workaround to watch for free is to head to your local bar, pub, or hotel where Friday Night Baseball will be available at 300,000 participating establishments through DIRECTV for Business.
The reviews for Apple’s first year of coverage were mixed, to be generous. As to be expected for one of the world’s leading technology companies, the spatial audio, drone camera shots, and player and field level mics made the visuals translate into a top-level broadcast. But Apple didn’t carry that energy over into the broadcast talent in 2022.
Play-by-players Stephen Nelson and Melanie Newman and analysts Katie Nolan, Hunter Pence, and Chris Young are out, being replaced by a pair of experienced, veteran broadcast crews to give Apple’s coverage a more serious feel. Wayne Randazzo, Dontrelle Willis, and Heidi Watney will make up one team, with Alex Faust, Ryan Spilborghs, and Tricia Whitaker rounding out the group.
As Apple TV launches the second year of a seven-year MLB deal worth $85 million per year, here’s its first half schedule with a lot more regional coverage. (All times EST.)
- April 7: Texas Rangers at Chicago Cubs, 2 p.m.; San Diego Padres at Atlanta Braves, 7 p.m.
- April 14: San Francisco Giants at Detroit Tigers, 6:30 p.m.; Los Angeles Angels at Boston Red Sox, 7 p.m.
- April 21: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees, 7 p.m.; Houston Astros at Atlanta Braves, 7 p.m.
- April 28: Philadelphia Phillies at Houston Astros, 8 p.m.; St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers 10 p.m.
- May 5: Chicago White Sox at Cincinnati Reds, 6:30 p.m.; Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Guardians, 7 p.m.
- May 12: Kansas City Royals at Milwaukee Brewers, 8 p.m.; Chicago Cubs at Minnesota Twins 8 p.m.
- May 19: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays, 7 p.m.; Seattle Mariners at Atlanta Braves, 7 p.m.
- May 26: San Diego Padres at New York Yankees, 7 p.m.; Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers, 6:30 p.m.
- June 2: Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds, 5 p.m.; Cleveland Guardians at Minnesota Twins 8 p.m.
- June 9: Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles, 7 p.m.; Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels 9:30 p.m.
- June 16: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers, 8 p.m.; Chicago White Sox at Seattle Mariners 10 p.m.
- June 23: Pittsburgh Pirates at Miami Marlins, 6:30 p.m.; New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies 7 p.m.
- June 30: Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates, 7 p.m.; Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Angels, 9:30 p.m.
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