New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has 59 home runs, two short of Roger Maris’ traditional (non-juiced era) single-season record of 61. However, if Judge ties or breaks the record on Friday, many fans will be unable to see it.
Apple TV+, the streaming service, has the exclusive rights to Friday night’s Yankees-Red Sox game as part of its regular Friday night MLB doubleheader. (Apple has had the exclusive Friday night games since April as part of a new agreement with the league.) And the New York Post reports that won’t change this Friday even if Judge is sitting on the record.
That means the Friday game won’t be available on the Yes Network or any other channel such as MLB Network or Fox. It’s Apple TV+ or nothing. And for fans who have trouble streaming due to poor Internet access, or a lack of technological savvy, that could mean they will miss an historic homer.
“An MLB spokesman said there is no plan to change the broadcasting schedule,” the Post writes.
Of course, Judge could solve this dilemma by hitting three home runs during the next three games; Tuesday and Wednesday night’s Yankees-Pirates games will be on Yes while Thursday’s Yankees-Red Sox game will be on Fox. But the odds are more likely that Friday night’s game will be must-see, even if Judge is still at 59.
The good news here is that Apple TV+ does provide the games for free and it’s relatively easy to watch them if you have a high-speed Internet service.
The first thing is to get an Apple ID. If you already own an Apple device, such as an iPad or iPhone, you probably have one. But if you don’t, you go to the Apple TV+ web site and click the Sign In button in the right hand corner of the Home Page. A screen will display with instructions on how to sign up. Click the ‘Create New Apple TV ID’ link.
Then, about 30 minutes before the game begins, open the Apple TV+ app or go to its web site. You’ll see the game listed in a thumbnail on the Home Page. Click on the thumbnail and start watching. It’s that easy. Pre-game shows usually begin about 30 minutes before first pitch.
However, note that Apple TV+ is not available on Android phones or tablets. If you own one of those, you will need to watch the games on the web site.
For more information on which devices are compatible with Apple TV+, click here.
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— Phillip Swann