On Friday night, game two of the series between the Yankees and its hated rival, the Boston Red Sox, will broadcast at 7 pm ET on Apple TV+’s “Friday Night Baseball,” which is free for anyone with internet access.
For Apple, Judge’s historic moment could drive fans to the streaming service for the first time. Will that lead to more paid sign-ups for the service? It’s unclear, but it’s a great promotional tool for Apple as it tries to grow its streaming endeavors.
As for MLB, putting more games on streaming helps the league reach a potentially younger audience. Traditional TV continues to be king for live sports, but if streaming is the future then it’s smart for MLB to future proof its product by being on digital services as well. This is why baseball has made deals with platforms like NBC’s Peacock and YouTube to showcase games.
The challenge is that baseball is a very traditional sport that’s been around for more than century, so any change — even a slight one — can be a shock to the system for fans. This is especially the case for older baseball viewers who may not know how to use digital services like Apple TV+, or might not have internet at all to access it.
But if Judge fails to break the record on Friday night then viewers have the chance to see him do so a few times this weekend the old-fashioned way.
Game 3 of the New York/Boston series will air at 1 pm ET on Saturday on MLB Network, the league’s cable channel, unless you’re in New York or Boston in which the game will broadcast on the team’s regional sports networks. Then game 4 will be on Sunday on ESPN and ESPN 2 at 7 pm ET for “Sunday Night Baseball.”