Apple Reportedly Looking to Broadcast Major League Baseball Games Next Season
Apple has entered into discussions with Major League Baseball about a potential deal that would see the company broadcasting MLB games next season, reports The New York Post.
The talks are described as "substantial" and "serious," and a deal would provide Apple with a way to establish Apple TV+ as a destination for sports content. At the current time, Apple TV+ offers TV shows and movies, but compared to competitors, it is not able to appeal to sports fans.
A lack of live sports access is a serious negative for Apple TV, as competitors like Amazon do have established deals. Amazon has inked a deal to air "Thursday Night Football" games starting this fall, and Amazon paid more than $1 billion for the access.
At the current time, Apple TV+ does not offer support for any kind of live television, providing access only to on-demand television and movie content, so Apple would likely need to build in a new sports-oriented section with live TV access.
Apple TV+ does integrate with the TV app, which in turn integrates with apps that provide access to live sports through the Sports tab. You can, for example, choose a favorite team in the TV app and it will suggest streaming a game in the appropriate app whenever the team is playing.
MLB is shopping its weekday national games that used to be exclusive to ESPN, so it's likely that Apple TV+ would offer the Monday and Wednesday games that ESPN no longer has access to if a deal works out. Discussions have also been held with Barstool Sports and Amazon, but no deal was reached.