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Apple is taking another swing at live baseball, announcing an expanded version of its Friday Night Baseball program for Apple TV+.
And while last season (the company’s first foray into live sports) saw some of the games available for free, this year only subscribers to the streaming service will be able to access the games.
Apple’s Friday Night Baseball will kick off the 2023 season on April 7 with the Texas Rangers facing the Chicago Cubs, followed by the San Diego Padres facing the Atlanta Braves. Apple is changing up its broadcast booths this year, with Wayne Randazzo and Alex Faust handling play-by-play duties, joined by analysts Dontrelle Willis and Ryan Spilborghs, and sideline reporters Heidi Watney and Tricia Whitaker.
The pre- and post-game shows will once again be hosted by Lauren Gardner, joined by Siera Santos. Xavier Scruggs and Matt Joyce will serve as analysts alongside journalist Russel Dorsey. Two former ML umpires, Brian Gorman and Dale Scott, will also join the broadcast team to break down the league’s new rules this season.
This year will also bring an array of other MLB content to Apple TV+, including recap shows, condensed games, and the return of a “whip around” show Big Inning. Apple also touted its My Sports section within Apple News, while Apple Music will include playlists featuring the walk up songs for all the players featured in that week’s games.
Apple also says that DirecTV will provide the games for its network of bars, restaurants, hotels, and other venues.
“We can’t wait for Friday Night Baseball to start up again, and we’re excited for fans to experience everything new we’re bringing this season,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP of Services. “Apple TV+ truly has something for everyone, from two live baseball games every Friday night, to an incredible slate of award-winning original films and series — there’s never been a better time to sign up.”
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