Breaking News

Apple TV Plus' Friday Night Baseball Debut Home Fans Didn't Expect

Apple TV Plus' Friday Night Baseball Debut Home Fans Didn't Expect

The first live baseball broadcast of the Apple TV Plus left some fans disappointed and disappointed, with complaints about connectivity issues and the quality of commentary during and after the game (via iMore). The streaming service aired the New York Mets against the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros against the Los Angeles Angels last night, and I think fans of all four teams can agree on one thing: Apple TV Plus's Friday Night Baseball. Didn't start as expected.

For starters, many fans noted that despite their internet working fine, their broadcasts were interrupted during the games. When the stream cut, viewers received an error message that read: "There is a problem loading this video. If it continues, check your Internet connection." It looks like Apple may be having some widespread connectivity issues, but there is no confirmation from the company. Apple's request for comment did not immediately elicit a response from The Verge.

When fans could actually watch the game, some said they muted it due to distracting, and sometimes outright off-topic commentary. Instead of focusing on the game, the audience said the announcers talked about Squirrel, Japanese restaurant chain Benihana and even Apple products. Others thought the commentators – a team made up of Melanie Newman, Chris Young, Hannah Keyser, Brooke Fletcher, Stephen Nelson, Hunter Pence, Katie Nolan and Heidi Watney – came across as not having much experience with baseball.

Fans were also disappointed by the lack of playback controls, which prevented them from pausing, rewinding, or fast-forward during games. To Apple's credit, the company says these controls aren't supported on its site during Friday Night Baseball, but it will still be a handy feature.

However, things were not all bad. Some fans were impressed by the crisp picture quality and the lack of obnoxious banner ads. Others pointed to clean, simple on-screen graphics, such as the subtle name of the player on the bat and probability statistics in the lower-right corner of the screen. Brandon Costa, director of digital at Sports Video Group, highlighted the use of the sans-serif font Apple typically uses for its marketing materials (what you call "San Francisco" for all the font nerds), making it a Been very apple-meat -mlb. type of experience.

Apple first announced its partnership with MLB at its Peak Performance event last month. In addition to broadcasting live baseball, Apple TV Plus gives fans access to replays and is also set to air MLB Big Inning, a show that includes highlights and analysis surrounding the latest games in baseball. Live baseball games on the Apple TV app are available for free for a limited time, but it's unclear whether Apple is planning on requiring a subscription for all viewers.

No comments