A Brooklyn politician is proposing legislation that would force MLB to renounce
its streaming service exclusivity deals in order to provide fans access to all home games on broadcast or cable TV.
The non-binding resolution will be introduced this month, Democratic Councilman Justin Brannan told The Post.
Since Apple TV+ and Amazon Prime Video have exclusive rights to broadcast some of the team’s games, many Yankee fans have been upset over almost missing the chance to see slugger Aaron Judge break Roger Maris’ American League home run record of 61.
The ardent Mets supporter Brannan railed, “Major League Baseball teams are benefactors of all kinds of government subsidies and tax benefits.” The very least they ought to do is permit the taxpaying public to watch sporting events on a standard television.
Even though the Council lacks jurisdiction over MLB on this matter, Brannan said he hopes that by leveraging the Council’s “bully pulpit,” he will get enough public support to persuade the organization to act fairly toward fans. According to him, the National Football League has similar agreements with streaming sites but still permits teams to broadcast their games on free television in local regions.
This season only, Apple TV+’s Friday night MLB package is free to the general public, but accessing it requires possessing a smart TV and logging into the app, which may be difficult for elderly, technologically incompetent fans and the team’s less fortunate supporters.
Despite having exclusive rights, Amazon Prime Video permitted the Yankees regional network, YES to broadcast a Sept. 28 game locally despite Apple TV+ having refused to give up its rights to broadcast a Sept. 23 Yankee game amid the height of Judge’s pursuit.
In the end, Judge hit his 61st and 62nd home runs in games broadcast on the cable network YES.