Fans slam Apple TV+ 'Friday Night Baseball' stream outages, commentary team

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
The first broadcast of Apple TV+'s "Friday Night Baseball" wasn't smooth sailing, with fans encountering teething issues with the sports stream on its first outing.




The initial streams of "Friday Night Baseball" on Apple TV+ took place on Friday, with the New York Mets taking on the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros versus the Los Angeles Angels. However, fans are complaining on Twitter that the inaugural event was subpar.

Complaints covered a number of areas of the broadcast, with arguably the biggest being connectivity. Some fans tuning in to watch the games couldn't start watching the stream, or had it interrupted.

As well as social media complaints, as reported by iMore, the status website DownDetector reportedly saw a surge of reports during the Nationals-Mets game.

Beyond connection problems, the complaints also extended to the broadcast itself.

Why @apple shouldn't do live baseball games .. pic.twitter.com/6La5t88qCQ

-- David J. Danto (@NJDavidD)


Apple's decision to use clean and minimalist graphics in line with the tech giant's typical design language was largely welcomed by fans, partly for being free from distracting on-screen advertising. However, the graphics package was also the source of online mockery, due to their seemingly simplistic nature at times.

This Angels/Astros #FridayNightBaseball is like the movie Space Camp but instead of students getting accidentally shot into orbit, it's three randoms thrown into a broadcast booth as the door is locked.

-- Andy Shapiro (@andyshapiro)


The commentary team was also under fire from the social media critics, with many saying the announcers were terrible. Complaints included how the announcers talked about subjects other than the baseball game itself, as well as a seeming lack of enthusiasm for on-field events.

While the issues could be put down to "first-night nerves" for the broadcast, it is highly likely that Apple's broadcast and technical teams will be learning from the experience for the next stream.

The next "Friday Night Baseball" is on April 15, and is scheduled to involve the Tampa Bay Rays against the Chicago White Sox, as well as the Cincinnati Reds versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    Is baseball still played?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 45
    Dead_Pool said:
    Is baseball still played?

    yes. 

    Beatsgrandact73
  • Reply 3 of 45
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,022member
    Are there not regional blackouts on these streams?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 45
    Joe_KJoe_K Posts: 8member
    I watched both games and didn't encounter any streaming issues. The production values were also excellent, with the clean and simple graphics and layout that are Apple hallmarks.

    The broadcasting teams, however, were indeed atrocious. Three-person booths for baseball are almost always a bad idea, and that held true yesterday. The third "analysts" in both booths — Hannah Keyser and Katie Nolan — were clearly some sort of diversity play, as neither had any prior baseball broadcasting experience and Nolan has no baseball expertise, period. I've been watching baseball games since the 1980s, and I can't recall an "analyst" adding less to a baseball broadcast than Nolan added to the Astros/Angels game yesterday.

    Aside from the unneeded third "analysts," the others would have been tolerable if they would have shut up every now and then. They all seemed afraid that if they were silent for more than half a second, they'd be zapped with a jolt of electricity.
    appleinsideruserlolliverwatto_cobraflyingdpstompyBeats
  • Reply 5 of 45
    Joe_KJoe_K Posts: 8member
    cpsro said:
    Are there not regional blackouts on these streams?

    Apple has exclusives for these games, so no blackouts.
    watto_cobraBeats
  • Reply 6 of 45
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,717member
    I had no problems. I'm not a big baseball fan, but tuned in to see how Apple did it. I thought the screen graphics were interesting; the PBP and color at least as good as the competition - which is of course a low bar. Concur with needing to STFU now and then, but this applies to nearly all TV sports. Was worth the free price. I would not pay for any MLB broadcast, but it may add value to ATV+ for some.

    Apple will have a steep learning curve here. I hope they continue pursuing live sports on ATV. Even a PPV model would be interesting.
    lolliverwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 45
    It's the usual boneheaded comments, like all the people that canned Apple TV+ shows when they first started up and how they were so far behind other streaming offerings.
    lolliverwatto_cobramike1lkruppjony0
  • Reply 8 of 45
    I have to be honest… love baseball, watch baseball often… love Apple, but last night watching baseball in Apple TV was brutal. Downright awful.
    crowleylkruppgrandact73
  • Reply 9 of 45
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 454member
    I didn’t have any streaming issues other than the picture quality being a bit poor for the first 5 mins. After that it was smooth sailing. I agree that the commentary team wasn’t the greatest. But they certainly weren’t the worst commentary team I have had to endure. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 45
    I had minor streaming problems. I thought the simple graphics were really good. The announcers were not fans of either team and fans don't like that. They want somebody to root for their team. I'm not a fan of eiher team so... I didn't care. But I thought they could've been sharper and more engaged. But AppleTV+ great fnirst try. I'm sure it will get better as they figure out what fans want from sports.
    watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 11 of 45
    People complaining on Twitter? Say it isn’t so!

    I only wanted the last hour of the broadcast, but I thought it looked great—much sharper than normal TV and the graphics were solid. The nattering in the background seemed fairly normal for a non-prime time game with the A team. 

    They will improve, but it was a solid start. Really looking forward to the LAD game on Jackie Robinson Day next week. 
    watto_cobralolliverjony0
  • Reply 12 of 45
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 673member
    Camera work, visuals, graphics are awesome.  The booths need work.  Wilson and Pence were good, Katie Nolan wasn't too bad, they may jell.  The Newman / Young / Keyser team was unwatchable.  Talking cute stories through key plays.  Never as bad as A-Rod's booth tour a few years back (what could be?) but they need to go re-watch teams like Costas / Uecker, Coleman / Pesky, Scully, etc.  
    Japheywatto_cobraflyingdp
  • Reply 13 of 45
    Joe_K said:
    Apple has exclusives for these games, so no blackouts.
    Games can be blacked out in home team regions in order to encourage fan attendance and revenue.
    Whether a company has exclusive broadcast rights or not does not, in itself, have bearing on blackouts or not.
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 14 of 45
    Joe_KJoe_K Posts: 8member
    JustMee said:
    Joe_K said:
    Apple has exclusives for these games, so no blackouts.
    Games can be blacked out in home team regions in order to encourage fan attendance and revenue.
    Whether a company has exclusive broadcast rights or not does not, in itself, have bearing on blackouts or not.

    That's for the NFL. There's no such thing as an MLB blackout due to a game not being sold out.

    MLB games on AppleTV+ are exclusive to Apple and aren't subject to any blackouts whatsoever.
    ronnwatto_cobramike1bageljoeylolliverjony0
  • Reply 15 of 45
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,410member
    I thought there was supposed to be some kind of Apple Music tie-in with the batters intro music. I only watched a few innings of the Astros, but I didn’t see it at all. In fact, I could barely even hear the batters intro music. Also, wasn’t Siri supposed to be featured in some way? I must have missed that too. 

    And the announcers were pretty bad, but they probably just need some time to gel. They reminded me of a B-Team covering a noon College Football game between a Power 5 team and a Division II team. 
    edited April 9 ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 45
    JustMee said:
    Joe_K said:
    Apple has exclusives for these games, so no blackouts.
    Games can be blacked out in home team regions in order to encourage fan attendance and revenue.
    Whether a company has exclusive broadcast rights or not does not, in itself, have bearing on blackouts or not.
    Wrong. No black outs for AT+ Friday night package.  

    As for the first Friday night stream - thought both were very well done. No connectivity issues here. 

    The production value was clean and impressive. 

    The broadcast team for the Astros v Angels far surpassed that if the Mets Nationals broadcast team. 

    Everything else is twister noise and folks that love to decry Apple’s foray into something “out of their lane”. 




    ronnwatto_cobralolliverjony0
  • Reply 17 of 45
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,024member
    Joe_K said:
    cpsro said:
    Are there not regional blackouts on these streams?

    Apple has exclusives for these games, so no blackouts.

    Not completely true. There are no blackouts, but Apple does not have an exclusive.They are all still shown locally on the regional networks with usual announcers.
  • Reply 18 of 45
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,024member
    I had no issues streaming and the picture quality was simply awesome. On screen graphics were refreshingly restrained. Announcers were just like most other nationally televised games. Fans looking for cheerleaders will always be annoyed by a neutral broadcasting crew.
    lollivergeorge kaplan
  • Reply 19 of 45
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,975member
    mike1 said:
    Joe_K said:
    cpsro said:
    Are there not regional blackouts on these streams?

    Apple has exclusives for these games, so no blackouts.

    Not completely true. There are no blackouts, but Apple does not have an exclusive.They are all still shown locally on the regional networks with usual announcers.
    Are you sure about this?  Everything I read mentions Apple’s “exclusive” coverage prominently. 
    From one site: “Games on "Friday Night Baseball" will be exclusive to Apple TV+, but free from local broadcast restrictions, meaning no blackouts.”
  • Reply 20 of 45
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,975member
    More clearly here:
    “The Friday night games will be free from local broadcast restrictions, but fans will not be able to watch designated streams via team broadcasts or an MLB.TV subscription.”
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