Four times this season, Cardinals matches have aired exclusively on streaming services. There was no traditional television coverage of those contests, on the local airline Bally Sports Midwest or elsewhere.
This part of Major League Baseball’s media deals has angered many Redbirds rooters who don’t have access to streaming outlets. But those complaints are a mere ripple from what may take place on Friday, when Apple TV + exclusively shows the Cardinals-Dodgers game from Los Angeles starting at 9:10 pm (St. Louis time).
Not only is it a first-place team match, it’s possible that Cards’ Albert Pujols could score his 700th career home run that night. Joining the game on Thursday, he was two years away from becoming the fourth player in MLB history to reach the finish line.
So a seasonal increase of “Pujolsmania” in his return engagement with the Cardinals could reach a crescendo in a game that many fans of the team will not see. While there is no charge to stream the production, an Apple account is required. Thus it is a device capable of receiving the feed, such as a smartphone, a tablet, a smart TV, etc. – equipment 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,” said Dan Farrell, senior vice president of the Cardinals, who oversees the team’s broadcast operations. “Unfortunately, the MLB-Apple contract is very tight with no flexibility regarding local telecaster arrangements for major events.”
It’s a similar situation in New York for the Yankees and Aaron Judge, who came into play on Thursday was a home run behind Roger Maris’ American League record of 61. Apple exclusively streams the Yanks-Red Sox game on Friday night.
There may be a backdoor way to watch Pujols hit on Friday, as long as you play in the game. MLB Network has cut its programming to bring its bats and its trips to the plate have also been shown on MLB.com. But those were local TV broadcasts, and Friday’s is a national production, so it wasn’t clear if there would be live Pujols at those outlets. ESPN also has termination rights, but not for games shown nationwide.
“MLB Network’s plans are fluid,” said a source.
This will be the last streaming card game of the season and by far the biggest. Apple has shown races against the humble Reds, Pirates and Cubs, although the latter is a great rivalry game. Peacock streams the matches on Sundays and held a Redbirds early season game in Pittsburgh.
But the ending of the Cards streaming-only matches for this year will be of little comfort to many of their fans not only if Pujols makes it to the finish line that night, but also if they miss the opportunity to see him chase the finish line.
Redbirds viewers who are used to having Dan McLaughlin in localized TV calls will instead listen to a national perspective, as long as they can access the feed. New York Mets broadcaster Wayne Randazzo has the contest play-by-play alongside analysts Chris Young and Russell Dorsey. Tricia Whitaker is the journalist.
McLaughlin, who is in his 25th season as the Cardinals’ local broadcaster, said he wouldn’t be discouraged at the prospect of missing the call if Pujols hits the finish line on Friday. (McLaughlin and BSM have the rest of the Cards regular season games.)
“Would I be disappointed (personally)? No, ”she said.“ The most important aspect of this is that it reaches 700 and beyond. (Would I be disappointed) from the perspective of baseball fans and consumers? Yes. This moment should be available to all fans around the world. Who knows when or if it will happen again. It’s the history of baseball. “
He will make a few innings of the game on the Cardinals Radio Network, as he did on a few occasions this year when Bally Sports Midwest’s televised broadcasts are anticipated by national productions. If it aired there on Friday and Pujols would arrive while he was at 699, McLaughlin said he would turn the microphone to guide radio announcer John Rooney and thus hope for the finish.
“I’ll stay silent and let John Rooney kick him out of the park,” McLaughlin said. This is his call and he deserves it. “
Connect to Apple TV +
Here’s how to access Friday’s Cardinals-Dodgers telecast on Apple TV +, for Major League Baseball and Apple. Remember, you need an Apple account:
- Launch the Apple TV app and select the game directly from there.
- From the MLB.TV app, tap Apple TV + Game. You will be redirected to the Apple TV app (where available).
- Go to https://tv.apple.com/ and sign in with – or create – an Apple ID.
Those who have never looked at Apple are advised to try to connect beforehand. Apple Red Sox-Yankees game starts at 18:05
Additional connection information can be found at: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT213099