Mets fans are going to be very mad.
Apple TV+ announced its “Friday Night Baseball” schedule under its new exclusive MLB rights deal for this season on Tuesday.
The first game? Mets at Nationals on April 8.
Given that Mets manager Buck Showalter has said Jacob deGrom will be the Opening Day starting pitcher, this means that Max Scherzer’s first game in a Mets uniform will not be on SNY — or any other cable or broadcast network — but rather on Apple’s streaming platform.
While this game is free, it still means that fans will need a connected TV in order to watch, which is an impediment for many older viewers.
An additional Mets game (June 10 at the Angels) plus two Yankees games (April 29 at the Royals and June 3 versus the Tigers) will air exclusively on Apple TV+.
Compounding the matter, Peacock will also have an 18-game slate of exclusive MLB games on Sundays this season. The exact games have not yet been announced.
This will undoubtedly be aggravating for a number of fans in New York and other markets this season. Fans who already pay $3,000 or $4,000 a year for their cable or satellite TV and internet bundles must subscribe to even more streaming segments to get their live sports.
Hockey fans went through this issue this past season with Rangers and Islanders games that only aired on ESPN+ and Hulu. NFL fans will be treated to this phenomenon next season with “Thursday Night Football” games on Amazon Prime, though this issue will be somewhat mitigated by games airing over the air in their local markets.
The inevitable result of all the streaming segmentation in video content will be sports fans having to choose between ponying up more money, or miss some of their favorite teams’ games.
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