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New York AG erroneously claims that playing the Yankees on Apple TV+ requires additional costs

No. 99 Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees hits a first-inning solo home run against the New York Mets during a summer camp game at Yankee Stadium on July 19, 2020 in the Bronx section of New York City.

Elsa | Getty Images

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge on Friday aims to break the American League record for most home runs in a single season.

The only place to watch the Yankees play the Red Sox on Friday is on Apple TV+, a streaming service that worries some Yankees fans who want to watch the game on their regular YES Network, and also on the team’s own channel. regular TV presenters.

On Friday, before the game was due to begin, anti-Apple Yankee fans found a new ally: New York Attorney General Letitia James, who urged Apple to allow the game to be broadcast on the YES network.

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

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

Users also don’t need an Apple device to watch: Contrary to its historical preferences, the company has created Apple TV+ apps for multiple non-Apple platforms, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV and game consoles, allowing broadcasts to reach a wider market. You can even watch them on any computer with a web browser and reasonably fast Internet access.

James later back to statementnoting, “While there is a way to watch a game without overpaying, this creates requirements including an Apple ID, Smart TV or streaming device, Wi-Fi or cellular.”

The spat is an example of tensions escalating as high-profile sports broadcasts move from linear TV to streaming services like Apple. Major League Baseball and yankees tried to clear up the confusion by posting guides on how to watch the game on social media and on their websites.

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

“All you need is an app and it’s everywhere. It might already be on your phone, TV, microwave, behind your eyes, because Apple is very tech-savvy,” Stewart joked in the video.

An Apple spokesperson did not immediately comment.

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