Come Friday night, irrespective of where Aaron Judge stands in his chase for 61 home runs — or more — one thing appears certain: Yankees fans won’t find a way to look at the sport the best way they normally do.
As a substitute of being broadcast on the YES Network, Fox or ESPN, Friday night’s game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox shall be on Apple TV+. It is a component of an agreement Major League Baseball made before the season which gave the subscription streaming service exclusive rights to some Friday night games.
The agreement is a component of a broad effort by M.L.B. to construct its audience, and includes streaming deals with Amazon Prime and Peacock, a service owned by NBC.
Watching Friday night games on Apple TV+ is free — for a limited time, per Apple’s website — however it is harder to realize access to the platform for some older fans and for sports bars that wouldn’t have smart TVs.
Many baseball fans have taken to social media this week to share their thoughts in regards to the game’s being broadcast on Apple TV+ and the way it could limit the viewership for a potentially huge milestone event. The comedian Jon Stewart posted a video on Twitter on Thursday that appeared to echo a few of that sentiment.
“I’m a fan of the Latest York Metropolitans, but I’m also a fan of excellence — excellence on the whole,” Stewart said. “This Aaron Judge thing is getting me so excited. That is going to be the steroid-free home run record, breaking Roger Maris’s 61, if he does it. And Friday night would be the night he ties the record or breaks the record, after which I came upon the sport against the Red Sox — it’s on Apple TV+.”
Stewart, who hosts the show “The Problem With Jon Stewart” on Apple TV+, then shifts gears, making a pitch for his network and stating that the service is free for baseball games.
The Yankees didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment Thursday about whether the team had asked M.L.B. to maneuver the sport to YES.
The difficulty does not only apply to Friday night’s Yankees game. Fans who need to see Albert Pujols in his pursuit of 700 home runs may even need Apple TV+ to look at the St. Louis Cardinals play the Los Angeles Dodgers.
While no subscription is required to look at the games on Friday nights, anyone hoping to tune in will need an Apple ID account, which is a free service.