Aaron Judge has been chasing Roger Maris for most of this season. And now that Judge is set to break the American League record of 61 homers in a season, fans will be on a chase of their own – to catch Judge’s Attacks on multiple TV channels this weekend.
The good news is that Judge and the New York Yankees’ three remaining games against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium will all be televised nationally. The not-so-good news: Friday’s game will be broadcast on Apple TV+, a burgeoning sports broadcasting platform that most fans are unfamiliar with.
Apple’s deal with MLB grants it exclusivity for two games every Friday, a deal that has upset baseball fans who are accustomed to streaming any game they want through MLB TV or watching through its local announcers. Still, the vast majority of games that have moved to Apple TV+ have not resonated beyond a local audience.
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That will change on Friday night when the exclusive rights streaming service hits the jackpot in what could be an iconic moment. Like ESPN and TBS, MLB’s Apple TV+ Friday night offerings are seen as widely broadcast games through a national affiliate. Friday’s game will then have no live cut-ins to Judges at-bats, although they were scheduled to air on MLB Network shortly thereafter.
While the vast majority of viewers will be watching national announcer teams this weekend, that doesn’t mean the Yankees crew led by Michael Kay will be completely left out. A look at how and when Judge will aim for #61 and #62 homers against the Red Sox:
time: 7:05 ET
Opposing pitcher: LH Rich Hill
announcer: Stephen Nelson, Hunter Pence, Katie Nolan, Heidi Watney
like watching: The game will be available for free on Apple TV+ and most iPhone and iPad users should already have the app installed on their device (even if you never realized it). It’s also relatively easy to download and watch on most “smart” TVs. But the game isn’t just for Steve Jobs fans; Apple TV+ is also accessible to Android users who need to access it through a browser rather than the app marketplace.
Both MLB and Apple have detailed instructions on how to access Apple TV+. To avoid last-minute attempts to access the broadcast while Judge saunters over to the record, make sure you’ve created an Apple ID.
For the uninitiated, MLB and Apple have reached an agreement to exclusively stream two games every Friday night, with restrictions on how often certain teams can be featured. (Friday’s late game actually features Cardinals-Dodgers and Albert Pujols, but he needs two homers to hit the 700 milestone). As fate would have it, Apple hit it with the pick of this Red Sox Yankees match, which has minimal pennant race impact but has significant historical value thanks to Judge.
Saturday: MLB Network
time: 1:05 ET
Opposing pitcher: RH Nick Pivetta
announcer: Bob Costas, Tom Verducci, Jon Morosi
like watching: Yankee fans in the “three-state area” can watch as always: On the YES Network, with Kay on the mic. The rest of the country will be able to watch over a relatively simple cable. If you’re outside of the New York area but want to hear Kay whistle during the call, the game should be available to stream on MLB.TV.
Because MLB Network is owned by the league and not a broadcast partner, ESPN/ABC is allowed to air the at-bats live if desired.
time: 7:08 ET
Opposing pitcher: RH Brayan Bello
announcer: Karl Ravech, Eduardo Perez, David Cone, Buster Olney
like watching: MLB’s most trusted TV slot – Sunday Night Baseball – comes to the rescue. Sure, the iconic franchise has dazzled us with Yankees-Red Sox for the last two decades, but this time it’s bringing a potentially massive game to the platform it deserves.
And yes, Kay gets some of the action too. He will be available on ESPN2 alongside Alex Rodriguez for the alternative television show, which hasn’t caught on like Monday Night Football’s Manningcast. However, it will provide Kay with a platform to celebrate Judge’s historic longball with a “See ya!” when he’s so inclined.