Chris Russo: MLB ‘having fun’ putting games exclusively on Apple TV+

Add Chris Russo to the growing crowd of angry fans ticked off as Max Scherzer’s New York Mets debut streamed exclusively on Apple TV+, rather than streaming on SNY.

“I guarantee you right now if you put on local radio station WFAN it’s their whole show,” Russo said on his SiriusXM show, mad dog unleashed (via Awful Announcement).

“Their whole show today listening to the angry old man call the radio station, ‘get off my lawn’, everything is ticked he can’t see Scherzer’s first start because God help him, he doesn’t know how to understand on Apple TV. And he’s not the only one.”

This is similar to WFAN’s Craig Carton and Evan Roberts’ take on this, saying that older fans won’t have the patience to search for Apple TV+ and play it on their digital media device, smartphone or tablet.

“It’s baseball that’s funny. I tell you, it’s dangerous,” Russo added. “We are going to work our backs to find the Thursday night football matches. We will work hard for these games. We will find them. It’s NFL football. We bet them. Also, the local game in your market will be on the live channels anyway. The Mets game is not live.

Russo is correct that fans will be looking for a standalone NFL game even if their favorite team isn’t involved, likely because of betting. Or simply because an NFL game feels like an event. Each team plays 17 games, the regular season lasts 18 weeks.

Baseball obviously lasts much longer with the number of games and the length of the season. But the relationship is more intimate with the fans. Major League Baseball has become a regional sport. Fans will be watching their team, but not necessarily a national broadcast involving clubs they don’t follow every day. And now some of those games are being cut for streaming deals with Apple TV+ and Peacock.

The everyday nature of baseball means fans — Mets or otherwise — will soon get over not seeing Max Scherzer’s debut on their regional sports network or MLB.TV. But the season openers have a football-like, event-like feel to them because we’ve gone the whole offseason without seeing our teams. With little else to focus on until the start of the MLB season, we’ll be obsessed with something like not being able to watch “our team” the way we’re used to.

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