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Sports Media World Weighs In on Debut of ‘Friday Night Baseball’ on Apple TV+

Apple TV's Inaugural MLB Telecast Draws Widely Varied Reactions

Nascent streaming service Apple TV+ began its foray in to Major League Baseball coverage on Apr. 8, 2022. It’s the start of a seven-year deal that reportedly cost Apple $85 million per year to air the sport. Its showcase is entitled “Friday Night Baseball“, which features two games — exclusive to the streamer — every Friday night.

The first game was the New York Mets at Washington Nationals. Making his Mets pitching debut was Max Scherzer, one of MLB’s premier pitchers. At 37 years old, he is currently earning the league’s largest average annual value at $43 million/year.

Baltimore Orioles announcer Melanie Newman was recently also hired by MLB Network; she did play-by-play for Apple’s inaugural broadcast (produced by MLBN). Newman was joined by two analysts — former major leaguer Chris Young and Yahoo Sports reporter Hannah Keyser — and on-the-field reporter Brooke Fletcher

Apple TV+’s broadcast of Mets-Nationals generated much initial reaction from those in the sports media industry, especially from the New York market.

There was mixed reaction for the Apple TV+ broadcast booth:

Following Newman’s call of Mets infielder Jeff McNeil‘s game-tying solo home run in the third inning:

Some opined on Apple TV+’s unique on-screen approach to airing an MLB game:

Following Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor getting hit in the helmet — the fourth Mets hitter to get plunked by Nationals pitchers within a span of 14 innings — which led to the benches of each team to clear:

Gorman discussed the rules involved after the Lindor incident.

The biggest issue of the night occurred at approximately 8:10 p.m. Eastern — the game crashed for many Apple TV+ viewers: