Published on March 29th, 2018 | by Brad Gibson1
Play ball! Your Apple TV guide to watching 2018 Major League Baseball
The Major League Baseball regular season is finally upon us.
The action begins today with 30 teams vying for the playoffs in six months. Now with so many options for streaming pro baseball, the options cover a wide spectrum for the obsessed to the casual fan.
Unlike the National Football League, which still airs the majority of its games on broadcast television, MLB now offers fewer and fewer matchups on local, over-the-air affiliates like the Fox Network. As a result, having a subscription to various streaming services on Apple TV will be the only way to see even a small amount of the 2,430 games, not including the post-season.
Here are the many different ways to watch the 2018 season of Major League Baseball on Apple TV.
Over the Air
Fox Sports, through its local affiliates, plan on broadcasting 33 regular season games, beginning May 6th. Regionalized primetime coverage of three games every Saturday begins on May 20th leading into the 88th MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 11th. For the 22nd consecutive year, Fox will broadcast selected American League Division and Championship games on the FOX broadcast network and the entire 113th World Series in October.
With a good antenna and a third-party device like the Tablo Dual Lite OTA DVR, you can easily watch Fox – and any local channel – through the Tablo app on Apple TV in multiple rooms in addition to having the capability to record games on a local DVR-ready hard drive.
If you’re considering adding an antenna to watch local stations, remember to check what stations you can receive in your area and what antenna type you’ll need to pull in your local Fox affiliate.
In many markets like Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle and Dallas, local MLB teams broadcast a number of games on local TV affiliates other than Fox. Those games will be available through a set-up like that just described.
For the ultimate in pro baseball viewing, MLB.TV shows every matchup with multi-game, simultaneous viewing.
MLB.TV Fox Sports 1 & ESPN
Right now, ESPN plans to broadcast 30 regular season MLB games with Fox Sports 1 planning to air 39. The best way to get either network on Apple TV is either through their individual apps (which will require pay-TV credentials from a cable, satellite, telco, or streaming service), or by watching these channels through a streaming service. (That is IF they are available through one of these services. Not all are. Check their channel lineups and this link.)
Regional Sports Networks
Looking for your local MLB teams broadcasts? Chances are good you’ll find them through a regional sports network as long as that network is available in your selected market.
There are dozens of them. Regional Fox Sports networks. NBC Sports regional networks. Regional AT&T Sports networks. Even independent local sports networks like New England Sports Network and the YES Network, to name a few.
The great thing about regional sports networks is that a lot more games are available for viewing than what you can get over an antenna.
Many of these networks are available either through their individual apps (which will require pay-TV credentials from a cable, satellite, telco, or streaming service) or by watching them through a streaming service. Again, not all these regional sports networks are available through a streaming service, so check their websites for a channel lineup to be sure before subscribing or at this link.
The MLB Network is planning on airing at least 90 out-of-market games in 2018, but this number could increase as the season progresses. The network is available by watching through a streaming service, so check their websites to make sure they broadcast MLB Network. Be forewarned…if a particular game is available in your area through a local over-the-air channel or regional sports network, it will be blacked out from viewing on the MLB Network.
For the dyed-in-the-wool pro baseball obsessed, MLB.TV is the ultimate in viewing. Everything a fan would want…live, high-definition streams of every regular season out-of-market game, with perks like multi-game viewing (up to four games at once), your choice of home and away feeds, in-game highlights, and a ‘catch-up’ feature of highlights.
The service is only available through the MLB At Bat app, available on the Apple TV App Store. The cost is $116 a year. There’s also a single-team option that lets you follow a non-local club of your choice for $90 per year.
Be advised…The ‘blackout’ rule applies on MLB.TV as well. For instance, if a local, over-the-air channel is broadcasting a Chicago Cubs game in your area, you won’t be able to watch the game on MLB.TV.
So there you have it, more options to watching MLB than you can shake a bat at. The national pastime, if anything, is the official message to Winter to go away.