New York AG falsely said Yankees games on Apple TV+ cost extra, but it’s free

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Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees hits a solo home run in the first inning against the New York Mets during Summer Camp at Yankee Stadium on July 19, 2020 in the Bronx borough of New York City.

Elsa | Getty Images

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge aims to break the one-season home run record in the American League on Friday.

The only place to watch the Yankees take on the Red Sox on Friday is Apple TV+, a streaming service, which is of concern to some Yankee fans who want to watch the game on the usual TV channel, YES Network, and with the own channel of the team. regular channels.

On Friday, before the game was due to start, Yankee fans ranting against Apple found a new ally: New York Attorney General Letitia James, who called on Apple to air the game on YES Network.

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“New Yorkers paid their cable bills expecting to see live sports programming. Now they are being asked to pay extra if they want to watch this exciting chase and potentially historic game,” James said in a statement. “That’s why I’m calling on Apple and the MLB to reach a fair deal with the YES Network so fans can watch what we all hope will make history tonight.”

However, no one has to pay extra to watch Friday Night Baseball’s broadcast – it’s free for anyone who signs up for an Apple account or already has one. Users don’t have to pay the $5 per month fee for Apple TV+ to get baseball. Apple said earlier this year that baseball games were “free for a limited time” but haven’t started charging yet.

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Users don’t need an Apple device to watch either: In a break with its historical affiliations, Apple TV+ has created apps for several non-Apple platforms, including Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, Google TV and game consoles, giving its broadcasts a wider reach. market. You can even view them on any computer with a web browser and fast enough internet access.

James later ran the statement backnoting, “While there is a way to watch the game without paying more, it does create requirements, including an Apple ID, a smart TV or streaming device, or Wi-Fi or cellular service.”

The vacuuming exemplifies the tension that bubbles up as high-profile sports broadcasts move from linear TV to streaming services like Apple’s. Major League Baseball and the Yankees have tried to clear up the confusion by posting guides on how to watch the game on social media and their websites.

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Apple enlisted comedian Jon Stewart, who has a show on Apple TV+, to inform viewers that there will be no paywall on Friday. He joked that he called an Apple executive, “Mr. App,” had pushed to make the game free.

“All you need is the app, and that’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 didn’t immediately comment.

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