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Apple TV+ set to exclusively host historic Yankees game

Yahoo Finance reporter Josh Schafer weighs in on streaming platforms gaining rights to air live sports games, including Friday's potentially historic Yankees game where Aaron Judge will attempt to break a home run record. Yankees legend Derek Jeter also comments on the shift to streaming.

Video transcript

SEANA SMITH: A big story in the sports world and also in the world of streaming. All eyes are going to be on Apple TV as New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge chases home run history. Yahoo Finance's Josh Shafer has been following this story for us. And Josh, this is a huge night on multiple levels. Obviously, a big night for Judge himself, but a huge night for Apple as well.

JOSH SCHAFER: Right, so here's kind of the situation, right? So Aaron Judge is two home runs away from breaking Roger Maris's AL record for the most home runs in the American League. And that record goes back over 50 years to 1961. So it's a big deal. But you can only watch that game on Apple TV+.

So Apple started-- this is their first year with Friday night baseball as we know. And they have this game. They've had this game for a long time. So it's Red Sox-Yankees tonight. And you can only watch that game on Apple TV+. It will not be on a regional network like, say, a yes network. ESPN-- at one point earlier in the week, it was, will ESPN be able to break into this? No. The answer is this is Apple and MLB, so Apple is getting kind of their first prime time moment.

And of course, we know baseball is a little old school, right? A lot of people aren't pumped that this is only going to be on a streamer. And I think that that's something that's been an interesting discussion to watch play out. And I actually recently sat down with Derek Jeter, the Yankees legend and Baseball Hall of Famer.

And we sort of chatted about that among other things. Derek is currently working on a project called the Arena Club, and that was what we were there talking about, which helps fans with memorabilia and that space. And I was asking about fans, though, as well when we talk about streaming and getting into new things. And so I said, is MLB getting into streaming really the right thing? And here's what Jeter had to say.

DEREK JETER: You have no choice. I mean, the way the game's consumed nowadays is a lot different than it was when I was growing up. I don't want to date myself, but people are walking around with their phones. And that's how they're watching. And they want to watch it at their own pace when they have a moment. So, yeah, I think it's all about the evolution of the game.

JOSH SCHAFER: The biggest thing that stands out to me there, you hear Derek Jeter talk about walking around on your phones. Think about tonight. Aaron Judge is playing in this game. We really only care about when Aaron Judge is batting and when he's going to be swinging for the fences, right, Dave? We only want to watch those at bats. Apple TV provides that with that app. You can watch that at any time. You can be at dinner tonight with the family and watch Aaron Judge. And I think that's why streaming is probably good.

DAVE BRIGGS: Yeah, I absolutely agree with you. I mean, I do understand the frustration from those Yes and Nessun fans that are going to be very angry tonight. I didn't expect the New York Attorney General to be among those angry. She calls it wrong and unfair that this game is only on Apple, even though, just to point out, it is free. You don't have to pay the 5 bucks a month for Apple TV. All you have to have is an iCloud Apple ID. Josh, what about the AG's complaints here? What do you think?

JOSH SCHAFER: I think it was wrong, right? She said that you had to pay. She said specifically to pay extra if they want to watch this exciting home run chase. And that's fundamentally not accurate. The MLB and Apple have both put out statements and told people how to get Apple TV+. If you can get access to that app, so if you have Wi-Fi and a smartphone or a smart TV, which a lot of people do nowadays, you can watch this for free.

So I think it's going to be a big move probably for Apple because it is free. It's going to get people into Apple's software and onto Apple TV. And I think that that could be a big night for Apple, guys. What are they going to watch after that? Are they going to maybe watch an episode of "Ted Lasso" or get interested in Apple TV+ because they're watching this.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, it could be a good play there for Apple. Josh, are you going to go to the game?

JOSH SCHAFER: I won't be there.

SEANA SMITH: You won't be there.

JOSH SCHAFER: It's my Red Sox, too.

SEANA SMITH: You weren't willing to pay top dollar.

JOSH SCHAFER: It's my Red Sox.

SEANA SMITH: I know. You were the perfect target. I thought maybe you were going to fork over all that cash in order to go.

JOSH SCHAFER: $1,500 is a lot for a ticket.

SEANA SMITH: Oh, yeah. It's a little, little steep. All right, Josh Schafer, thanks so much.