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Apple's Friday Night Baseball Will Require an Apple TV Plus Subscription This Season

Last year's free baseball deal will not carry over to 2023.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise 5G | Mobile networks | Wireless carriers | Phones | Tablets | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms | Mobile | Console gaming
Eli Blumenthal
2 min read
TV Plus Friday Night Baseball

Apple TV Plus will air baseball games every Friday night. 

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

Apple will once again be airing Friday baseball games this season, but this time expect to pay for it. After its inaugural 2022 campaign, the iPhone-maker will kick off its 2023 Major League Baseball streaming season on April 7 with a doubleheader featuring the Texas Rangers at the Chicago Cubs on Friday afternoon, followed by the San Diego Padres at the Atlanta Braves on Friday night. 

The Friday games will continue throughout the season, though this year you'll need to pay $7 per month for Apple TV Plus if you want to watch. Last year Apple made the games available for free for the entirety of the 2022 season. 

Apple's baseball coverage will continue to include access to MLB Big Inning, a live weeknight show offering look-ins and highlights of games in progress, as well as daily shows like MLB Daily Recap. While the live games will be stuck behind a paywall, Apple is making condensed games and highlights available for free after the contests air. 

As before, the Friday Apple games are exclusive to Apple TV Plus and not available on traditional cable or satellite providers, even in teams' local markets. This year, however, Apple is working with DirecTV to make the games more readily available in bars, restaurants, hotel lounges and other locations around the US over the latter's satellite service. 

Like last year, Apple will be streaming the games in its Apple TV app in 1080p resolution with 5.1 audio, as well as spatial audio if your setup supports it. The Apple TV app is available on a variety of devices, including Apple's own iPhones (running iOS 16.2 or later), iPads (running iPadOS 16.2 or later) and Apple TVs (running TVOS 16.2 or later), as well as in the Apple TV app that's available on many modern smart TVs, game consoles, streaming devices and platforms like Roku, Amazon Fire, Google TV or Android TV. 

There is still no Android app for phones or tablets, with users of those devices -- as well as Apple users who haven't updated their device's software -- needing to watch via the web at tv.apple.com

Apple's MLB deal was the company's first foray into streaming live sports. It since has expanded to become the exclusive home of Major League Soccer and is rumored to be interested in acquiring more sports rights, including the English Premier League and the NBA