Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees hits a solo home run in the first inning against the New York Mets during a Summer Camp game at Yankee Stadium on July 19, 2020 in the Bronx Borough of New York.
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Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is trying to break the American League single-season home run record on Friday.
The only place to watch the Yankees take on the Red Sox on Friday is Apple TV+streaming service, which is causing concern among some Yankee fans who want to watch the game on its usual YES Network TV channel and on the team’s own regular broadcasters.
On Friday, before the game was set to begin, Yankee fans turned on each other Apple found a new ally: New York Attorney General Letitia James, who urged Apple to allow the game to be broadcast on the YES Network.
“New Yorkers paid their cable bills expecting to see live sports. Now they’re being asked to pay extra if they want to watch this exciting home run chase and potentially historic game,” James said in a statement. why I call on Apple and MLB to reach a fair accommodation with the YES Network so fans can watch what we all hope will be history tonight.”
But no one has to pay extra to watch Friday’s baseball broadcast — it’s free for anyone who signs up for or already has an Apple account. Users don’t have to pay the $5 a month fee for Apple TV+ to get baseball. Apple said earlier this year that baseball games are free “for a limited time” but have yet to start charging.
Users also don’t need an Apple device to watch: Despite its historical preference, Apple TV+ has created apps for several non-Apple platforms, including Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, Google TV and gaming consoles, allowing its broadcasts to reach a wider market. You can even watch them on any computer with a web browser and fast enough internet access.
James later returned the statementand noted, “While there is a way to watch the game without paying more, it creates requirements, including an Apple ID, a smart TV or streaming device, or Wi-Fi or cellular service.”
The dust-up is an example of the bubbling tension as high-profile sports broadcasts move from linear television to streaming services like Apple. Major League Baseball and Yankees have tried to clear up the confusion, posting guides on how to watch the game on social media and their website.
Apple tasked comedian Jon Stewart, who has a show on Apple TV+, to inform viewers that there is no paywall on Friday. He joked that he pushed an Apple executive, “Mr. App” to make the game free.
“All you need is an app, and it’s on everything, it’s probably already on your phone, your TV, your microwave, behind your eyeballs because Apple is very tech-savvy,” Stewart joked in the video.
An Apple representative did not immediately comment.