Analyst lauds Apple TV+ acquisition of Friday Night Baseball rights

On Tuesday, Apple and Major League Baseball (MLB) announced “Friday Night Baseball,” a weekly doubleheader with live pre- and postgame shows that will be available to fans in eight countries exclusively on Apple TV+ as soon as the regular season begins on Thursday, April 7th – one week later than the originally scheduled date (March 31st), which was pushed back due to labor negotiations.

Fans can tune in to two games on Friday nights during the regular season, available only on Apple TV+
Fans can tune in to two games on Friday nights during the regular season, available only on Apple TV+

In addition to “Friday Night Baseball,” fans in the US will be able to enjoy “MLB Big Inning,” a live show featuring highlights and look-ins airing every weeknight during the regular season. Baseball fans in the US and Canada will also have access to a new 24/7 livestream with MLB game replays, news and analysis, highlights, classic games, and more, as well as a full complement of on-demand programming, including highlights and MLB-themed original content.

Fans will be able to watch marquee games on Friday nights, free from local broadcast restrictions, across devices where Apple TV+ can be found, including on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV 4K and HD, and on, along with select smart TVs, gaming consoles, and cable set-top boxes. “Friday Night Baseball” will be available on Apple TV+ — and, for a limited time, without the need for a subscription.

Anusuya Lahiri for Benzinga:

Evercore ISI analyst Amit Daryanani clarified that Apple did not aspire to become another Netflix.

Daryanani lauded Apple’s move, which looked to focus on high-quality scripted content and desirable sports rights.

He continued to see TV+ as an excellent way to further Apple’s goal of monetizing its installed base, which could eventually help shrink replacement cycles for hardware and provide a “potential killer app” for AR/VR.

Daryanani maintained an Outperform rating and $210 price target (32.5% upside) on Apple shares.

MacDailyNews Take: May Mr. Market strove to meet Daryanani’s price target ASAP, but first give us some under $150 action, please!

And, yes, of course, exclusive live sports for Apple TV+ is a genius idea.

Cook should consider bidding for and winning NFL Sunday Ticket away from Direct TV, buying rights to Premiere League and La Liga games, etc. and making them Apple TV exclusives. Go directly to the sports leagues with boatloads of cash. — MacDailyNews, May 6, 2014

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