Four times this season, Cardinals games have been shown exclusively on streaming services. Local carrier Bali Sports had no traditional television coverage of those competitions, in the Midwest or anywhere else.
This portion of Major League Baseball’s media contracts has angered many Redbird routers who do not have access to streaming outlets. But those complaints only come as a ripple as of Friday, when Apple TV+ airs a special from Los Angeles to the Cardinals-Dodgers game starting at 9:10 p.m. (St. Louis time).
Not only is this a matchup of first-place teams, it’s possible the Cards’ Albert Pujols could hit his 700th career home run that night. He enters the contest at least two homers, becoming the fourth player in MLB history to achieve the milestone.
So the season-long buildup of “Pujolsmania” in his return engagement with the Cardinals could reach a climax in a game that not many fans of the team will see. Although there is no charge to watch the streaming production, an Apple account is required. So is a device that can receive feeds, such as a smartphone, tablet, smart TV, etc. – devices that some fans, especially older ones, don’t have.
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“We spoke with MLB about local concerns if Albert was on the verge of 700 home runs without BSM coverage,” Cardinals senior vice president Dan Farrell said. “Unfortunately, the MLB-Apple contract is too tight with no flexibility concerning accommodation of local telecasters for milestone events.”
It’s a similar situation for the Yankees in New York and Aaron Judge, who entered the game on Thursday, was a home run behind Roger Maris’ American League record of 61. Apple exclusively streams Friday night’s Yankees-Red Sox game.
MLB Network has recently been cutting its programming to carry the at-bats of Pujols and Judge when their games have been on regional sports networks. But MLBN won’t do that on Friday because Apple has stand-alone live coverage, although the Baseball Channel may show a homer soon after the fact. ESPN also has cut-in rights but not for games shown at the national level.
Streaming is becoming increasingly common, with the biggest move yet by the NFL by removing most of its Thursday night games from TVs and being shown exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon debuted last week, and Nielsen, which measures viewership, says the Chiefs-Chargers game attracted nearly 11.8 million viewers on Amazon. Unlike MLB, the NFL requires that streamed games be simultaneously broadcast on a TV station in the playing teams’ markets, and approximately 1.1 million people watched in Kansas City and Los Angeles this way to reduce the total viewership. to be brought down to about 13 million. Last year’s first Thursday game was simulcast on Fox and the NFL Network, drawing nearly 15 million.
Meanwhile, it will be the final streaming-only card game of the season and the biggest ever. Apple has featured competitions against lowly Reds, Pirates, and Cubs, although the latter sport a larger rivalry. Peacock streams the game on Sundays and had an early season Redbirds game in Pittsburgh.
But the end of Cards’ streaming-only games for this year will be little consolation for many of his fans, not only if Pujols reaches the milestone that night, but even if they’d rather see him chase the landmark. Opportunities are missed.
Redbirds TV viewers who are accustomed to Dan McLaughlin on local TV calls will hear a national perspective—provided they can access the feed. New York Mets broadcaster Wayne Randazzo has a play-by-play of the competition with analysts Chris Young and Russell Dorsey. Tricia Whitaker works as a reporter.
McLaughlin, who is in his 25th season as a local Cardinals TV broadcaster, said he would not be disappointed to miss the call if Pujol reaches the milestone on Friday. (McLaughlin and BSM have regular-season games on the rest of the cards.)
“Will I be disappointed (personally)? No,” he said. “The most important aspect of this is that it reaches 700 and beyond. (Will I Be Disappointed) From the perspective of a fan and a baseball consumer? Yes. This moment should be available for every fan in the world to see. Who knows when or when it will happen. This is baseball history. ,
He will perform a few innings of the game on the Cardinals radio network, as he has done on occasion this year when the Bali Sports Midwest telecast is undone by national productions. If he airs there on Friday and Pujols will come at 699, McLaughlin said he would turn over the microphone to lead radio announcer John Rooney And then expect milestones.
“I’ll shut up and knock John Rooney out of the park,” McLaughlin said. This is his call and he deserves it.”
Apple TV+ . connect to
Here’s how to access Friday’s Cardinals-Dodgers telecast on Apple TV+, per Major League Baseball and on Apple. Remember, an Apple account is required:
It is recommended that those who have not seen Apple before, try to connect early. Apple’s Red Sox-Yankees game starts at 6:05 p.m.
Additional connection information is here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT213099,