Sports | January 11, 2022 1:57 pm

MLB Has Had “Substantial” Talks With Apple About Streaming Mid-Week Games

Apple has reportedly had significant talks with MLB about carrying a package of national games on weekdays

An Apple iPad is used to record Aaron Judge of the Yankees taking batting practice. Apple and MLB have been holding talks to host mid-week games on Apple's streaming service.
An Apple iPad is used to record Aaron Judge of the Yankees taking batting practice.
Mark Blinch/Getty

With Amazon taking hold as the exclusive streaming partner of the NFL for Thursday Night Football starting next season, Apple appears poised to embark on the technology giant’s long-awaited foray into live sports broadcasting.

Per The New York Post, Apple has held “significant” talks with Major League Baseball about picking up the rights to stream a package of national games on weekdays starting next season (whenever that is).

ESPN previously had a slate of Monday and Wednesday games in addition to Sunday Night Baseball but opted not to retain the rights to the mid-week games. That decision opens up the door for Apple to swoop in and take the jump into live sports to compete with traditional broadcasters like Fox Sports, NBC, CBS and the Worldwide Leader.

“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 for the technology behemoth into the coverage of top live sports,” per The Post.

Should a deal go down, Apple would likely put the MLB games on Apple TV+ so Ted Lasso fans can watch live baseball after they are finished viewing a soccer sitcom.

“One of the core pillars of my thesis that sports teams will continue to see an increase in valuations over the next decade is that new streaming services will start to compete with legacy networks for broadcasting rights, causing an increase in demand that ultimately drives the prices higher,” writes Joseph Pompliano of Huddle Up. “It’s simple math — increasing demand + fixed supply = higher prices — and given those annual broadcasting agreements filter down to each team through revenue-sharing agreements, they end up drawing a straight line to higher valuations.”

Partnering with Apple would be a change, but it wouldn’t be out of character for MLB, which has previously put games on Facebook and Twitter. MLB also has a history with Apple as its application was one of the first to appear on the App Store in 2008.

Whatever deal MLB and Apple eventually reach, it won’t matter until the players and the owners come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. As it stands now, the owners are locking out the players.