It’s been nearly four years since Major League Baseball announced deals with Facebook and YouTube TV that granted the platforms exclusive rights to broadcast a select amount of games for the 2018 season.
The collaborations were considered successful as MLB went on to extend their partnerships before striking a similar agreement with another major social media outlet, Twitter, to stream games.
Other sports leagues have followed suit as Amazon recently became the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football, while several Premier League Soccer matches can only be watched on NBC’s Peacock streaming service.
As the sports media landscape continues to shift, more big-name digital companies are attempting to enter the field. According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Apple is in serious talks on a deal to carry dozens of MLB games during the 2022 regular season:
Apple has had substantial talks about carrying Major League Baseball games next season, The Post has learned. … Apple would be expected to make the games available through its subscription service, Apple TV+, which is most famous for its series “Ted Lasso.” Major League Baseball has previously put games on Facebook and Twitter.
Since the launch of Apple TV+ in 2019, Apple has been rumored to want to acquire the streaming rights to live sporting events. If a deal with MLB comes to fruition, the tech giant presumably will pick up the 60-game package ESPN recently dropped.
MLB and Apple have a relationship that spans over a decade as the MLB app became one of the first to be listed on the App Store in 2008.
Manfred, MLB team owners remain committed to expanded postseason
Amid the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, MLB and the Players Association agreed to a 16-team postseason that introduced the first-ever Wild Card Series.
The new format created additional TV revenue, which was important given the lack of ticket sales from fans not being able to attend games that year.
The extra TV revenue is believed to be a driving force in the league wanting some form of an expanded postseason to return for the 2022 season and beyond.
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