New York Attorney General Letitia James called for tonight’s potentially historic Yankees game to be available on cable even though you can watch it for free thanks to Apple.
Yankees star Aaron Judge could break a home run record at Friday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, and you’ll be able to watch the game for free through Apple TV’s Friday Night Baseball broadcast. But in tweets ahead of the game, New York Attorney General Letitia James confusingly called for the game to be brought over to New York’s local Yankee Entertainment and Sports (YES) cable network, and after slightly walking that back, called the steps to watch Apple’s broadcast “burdens.”
The whole saga started with a tweet from James at 3:04PM ET.
The replies to this tweet are pretty rough, with people rightly pointing out that James is advocating for paid cable when Apple is streaming the game for free inside the Apple TV app or via a browser on most any device as long as you have an Apple ID.
Nearly two hours later, James took a softer tone, though still stood some ground.
In 2022, when cell phones are ubiquitous, and everyone is watching video via Netflix, YouTube, or TikTok, those “requirements” don’t seem especially hard to meet. While there are edge cases, and not every viewer has plugged their TV into the network (or maybe their local sports bar can’t work out how to plug in a dongle and change the input), the game should be viewable to people on screens they have around them.
She followed with this:
With free access via a web browser, it just doesn’t seem like there are significant “burdens” to being able to watch the game. Neither Apple nor the MLB replied to requests for comments from The Verge.
Unfortunately, this probably won’t be the last time we see policymakers frustrated about where they can watch a sports game. As big tech companies like Apple and Amazon continue to invest more in sports broadcasting rights, knowing exactly where you can see the next big game is going to become as confusing as figuring out where you can stream Harry Potter. And this is all happening before we know where the lucrative NFL Sunday Ticket package will end up next — for which Apple is reportedly a frontrunner.
The New York Yankees’ game against the Boston Red Sox begins at 7:05PM ET.