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Monday, January 10, 2022

Apple in serious talks with MLB to broadcast games

Apple has had substantial talks about carrying Major League Baseball games next season, The Post has learned.

If a deal is finalized, it would represent a significant milestone in sports broadcasting since Apple has long been looked upon as a potential stop for major sports TV rights. One of Apple’s rival companies, Amazon, has already carved out an important piece of real estate in this space, as it will become the exclusive home of NFL “Thursday Night Football” in the fall.

A potential MLB-Apple deal would not be anywhere close to the magnitude of the NFL and Amazon — which is for more than a billion dollars per year — but MLB and Apple would be the entree of the technology behemoth into the coverage of top live sports.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2022 at 06:13 PM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: television rights

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   1. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 10, 2022 at 06:35 PM (#6060507)
Amazon [...] will become the exclusive home of NFL “Thursday Night Football” in the fall.

On Thursdays during the NFL season, I always have to remind myself, "Oh, that's right...there's a football game on tonight...!" Now that it won't even be on a real network, I guess I'll forget about it altogether.
   2. Rally Posted: January 11, 2022 at 08:27 AM (#6060572)
I detest Thursday night football. Never watched one. I’m pissed off every week that I need to check my fantasy lineup, instead of waiting for Sunday morning, when God on his day of rest intended for that to be done.
   3. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: January 11, 2022 at 09:23 AM (#6060582)
instead of waiting for Sunday morning, when God on his day of rest intended for that to be done.


Back in the mid-90s our deadline for submitting our lineups was midnight on Saturday night (well midnight Sunday morning technically). In those days of everything being done manually we had to call our commissioner and put our lineup in that way. If he wasn't available we'd have to hit him on his pager.

Anyway, one of our owners had forgotten to call in his lineup and it was about 11:55. No big deal, we were all in our early 20s so 11:55PM on a Saturday we were just getting started so this owner interrupted what he was doing to make a phone call. The problem is the activity he was engaged in at that point was, um...well it was the only mid-coital lineup submission in league history.
   4. DL from MN Posted: January 11, 2022 at 09:53 AM (#6060588)
Exciting news. I keep wondering what the end game for Apple TV is. I enjoy a lot of their shows but am not sure I would pay $10/month for it. I've gotten a year free from buying iPhones. If they have baseball I'll keep the subscription and drop Hulu.
   5. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 11, 2022 at 11:26 AM (#6060601)
I detest Thursday night football. Never watched one. I’m pissed off every week that I need to check my fantasy lineup, instead of waiting for Sunday morning, when God on his day of rest intended for that to be done.

I cannot agree more strongly. TNF messes everything up, people forget the game exists all the time, I have to do fantasy crap on Thursday, etc. I'm sure putting the game exclusively on Amazon will be great for the fans.
   6. Jay Seaver Posted: January 11, 2022 at 12:16 PM (#6060612)
I keep wondering what the end game for Apple TV is.


Recurring payments for Apple. They're probably feeling like they're close to the upper limit of what you can put on a phone or tablet to make people upgrade every couple of years - it's basically down to improving the camera hardware/app these days - and there's probably a cap on how much people will give the app store once they have all the paid apps they really need. So they figure giving a year of it away free with a new phone is a way to keep their hand in their users' pockets.

Hardly unique to them, of course; Microsoft got into gaming and backed the HD-DVD format (which would give them patent money and a steady income stream encoding discs) to create those sort of income streams once people decided that they probably weren't going to need new features in Word or Excel often enough to buy upgrades, and they and Adobe have basically moved to renting rather than selling software.
   7. DL from MN Posted: January 11, 2022 at 01:05 PM (#6060620)
The problem is Apple does not have the breadth of content to compete with anyone else on streaming. I think they may want to be the hub so people where people can rent/purchase from anywhere without having to subscribe exclusively to a service but I don't know if anyone is interested in that a la carte model at those prices.
   8. Jay Seaver Posted: January 11, 2022 at 04:05 PM (#6060657)
I'm not saying it's a good plan, or any more likely to work out in the long term than Microsoft's HD-DVD gambit. What Apple's got is a huge amount of money to sink into production and acquisitions, a huge music streaming service they could offer as a bundle, and brand awareness somewhere between "reputation for quality" (with a specific upscale aesthetic) and "cult-like following". I wouldn't be terribly shocked if they bought A24 outright, for instance. And I don't necessarily know that they need "breadth of content" - Disney+ gets by in a lot of cases on people paying whatever amount for an hour of Marvel/Star Wars content a week (see also Paramount+/Star Trek). Apple could fund enough to be Netflix/Prime, but I suspect that if they keep the price/month at like $6 and make sure there's not a big gap between things people are willing to subscribe to, they can do okay by that.

If baseball fits into that, I don't know; does one or two random mid-week games create that sort of interest for enough people to get Apple's notice? I kind of doubt it, to be honest - it makes more sense to me for MLB to consolidate everything on MLB.TV as RSN contracts expire and then makes deals with free services like of Roku and Tubi that basically serve as advertising for their own service. But everyone's still trying to figure out how many "major services" the streaming world has room for, and Apple's trying to figure out what they'll do when everyone's got an iPhone they're satisfied with.
   9. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: January 11, 2022 at 04:30 PM (#6060662)
The problem is Apple does not have the breadth of content to compete with anyone else on streaming.


Yet. You gotta start somewhere and they are producing a fair amount of content in a short time already. As time passes I would expect them to be more aggressive about buying existing content and to produce even more in-house content than they already are.
   10. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 11, 2022 at 05:46 PM (#6060676)
it was the only mid-coital lineup submission in league history

We've all heard of Option J. This would be, what, Option X...?
   11. villageidiom Posted: January 12, 2022 at 09:03 AM (#6060752)
Apple's trying to figure out what they'll do when everyone's got an iPhone they're satisfied with.
Many people with iPhones have iPhones they're satisfied with, and they're satisfied with it because Apple told them they are.
   12. Russ Posted: January 12, 2022 at 01:15 PM (#6060798)
Many people with iPhones have iPhones they're satisfied with, and they're satisfied with it because Apple told them they are.


And then there are some people like me who is satisfied with their iPhone because they are extremely happy with their laptop and iPad and adding a different eco-system to the mix for only a modest difference in price and a different set of useful features seems unnecessary.
   13. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: January 12, 2022 at 01:23 PM (#6060800)
Plus of course Apple is perfect and everything about Apple is wonderful and ALL HAIL APPLE.
   14. Lassus Posted: January 12, 2022 at 02:52 PM (#6060815)
Yet. You gotta start somewhere and they are producing a fair amount of content in a short time already.

The Morning Show was quality entertainment. Foundation made me angry.


Plus of course Apple is perfect and everything about Apple is wonderful and ALL HAIL APPLE.

I can't be the only one, but I wonder how uncommon (or common) solely Mac computer usage and solely Android phone usage is.
   15. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: January 12, 2022 at 03:17 PM (#6060824)
I like TMS a lot and Ted Lasso is phenomenal. Lots of people seem to like Mythic Quest but it doesn't seem interesting to me. Defending Jacob was pretty good as well.
   16. Hombre Brotani Posted: January 12, 2022 at 10:21 PM (#6060881)
Plus of course Apple is perfect and everything about Apple is wonderful and ALL HAIL APPLE.
As opposed to teh PC MASTER RACE? C'mon, now.

The gap has narrowed some over the last 25 years, but the high-end iMacs are still the standard for desktop platforms when it comes to working in design and media. I got moved to the administrative side of work last year and have downgraded to your average high-end all-in-one PC, and I'm still going through iMac withdraws. PCs are computers for gaming. iMacs are just better computers for work. They just are.
   17. I don't want to talk about Rocco Posted: January 13, 2022 at 01:25 PM (#6060958)
For All Mankind gets great reviews

CODA may get Oscar nominations

Velvet Underground doc really good

Dickinson solid

Apple content generation improving and obviously has super deep pockets.

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