iOS 4.3 brings MLB baseball, NBA basketball to Apple TV

iOS 4.2 brings MLB baseball, NBA basketball to Apple TV

iOS 4.3 has a little surprise in store for Apple TV sports fans -- integration of MLB baseball and NBA basketball. Sports has been one of the last strongholds of traditional broadcast, cable, and satellite. No longer.

Here's the MLB news:

Enjoy select Spring Training games and a full slate of regular season games on Apple TV. Regular Season features include:

  • HD Quality (where available)
  • LIVE and archived games
  • Home and away broadcasts*
  • Quick navigation to run scoring plays or a particular at bat

On your Apple TV, sign in with the username and password associated with your MLB.TV subscription.

NBA hasn't released any details yet but if you have league pass you should be good to go. The integration looks similar to Netflix -- it's built right in. Anyone trying it out yet?

[MLB, thanks everyone!]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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iOS 4.3 brings MLB baseball, NBA basketball to Apple TV

41 Comments
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Very nice additions. I was amazed when it restarted and it listed some new features. I thought all we were going to get was improved Airplay. Sucks that you have to have a subscription to watch the live games. But it's cool that you can watch live scores, view highlights in HD, and read news. Also loving the fact that I don't have to sync my videos to itunes before I watch them on my ATV2, they just stream from my iPhone perfectly.
I give this update an A- ...always room for improvement

Nice addition of MLB.tv but in general you can not use it as a replacement for cable if what you want to watch is your local team since all live games will be blacked out if you are in the broadcast area of the team. So for me I could never watch a live game involving my local team. I could watch other teams, but that is less appealing. Also if you pay the $119.99 for the premium MLB.tv account do you still have to pay for the iPhone AND iPad apps to get that access on those devices? Seems like those apps should be free and then pay for premium services like live video. Just my 2 cents.

wonder if it's possible to change your location via jailbreak and some CLI ninja-ness? so the local blackouts wouldn't apply?

Once MLB removes the blackout restrictions this will be both be a viable solution to paying cable fees and the ridiculous contracts teams like the Yankees, Mets and Rangers have with their broadcast partners. I just hope that this is done during the next bargaining session as is rumored. Probably too good to be true since those with large contracts or ownership of a network will never go for it.

Apple striped power away from the record labels, and now they're finding a new way to attack the networks, cable co's & satellite co's.
Can't wait until this comes to the NFL. It's just a matter of time.

Agreed. If Apple can get the NFL and the NCAA on board, they will sell a metric ton of AppleTV devices.
I can hear cable companies beginning to weep a little on the inside.

I'm a montrealer and rabid Habs' fan : is there a similar deal in the works for the NHL?
Please let it be so. If not, where is the petition?!
(Bettman is my sole worry in regards to that hope/dream/fantasy...)

This would be GREAT for MLB fans... if it wasn't for MLB's archaic local blackout rules.
Essentially, MLB.TV is useless if you live in the "home territory" for your favorite team, and sometimes the "home territory" may be a long way from the home team itself. I have no doubt MLB would sell exponentially more subscriptions if they made these rules less restrictive. I would be first in line.
As an example of how ridiculous these rules are, Las Vegas, NV is claimed as "home territory" by at least the A's, Giants, Dodgers, Angels, Diamondbacks, and Padres. All of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma are claimed by both the Rangers and Astros. This is all despite the fact that only the games of one of those teams is show on cable TV in those local markets, meaning that you're out of luck if you're a fan of one of the other teams.
Until MLB changes its blackout rules, MLB.TV will be terribly underpowered.

Totally agree about Las Vegas ... Come on ... how in the heck are the Oakland A's a home market for LV? It's about a 9 hour drive from the Bay to Las Vegas.
I think it has more to do with the casinos wanting to get people into the sports books more than anything.

Try getting a ghost ip from strongvpn. For avfew $ u can get an ip from another city and MLB will think u are out oh home territory.

yah....would be nice...if it was worth it.
no i'd love to pay a few hundred a year to only watch OTHER teams play. the blackout rules are RIDICULOUS.
i would pay my home team $300 directly per year to simply stream all of my teams games online. i don't even care to get content from other teams.

WOW! This is even BETTER than what I expected!!! I was certain they were going to add AirPlay support to MLB@Bat 2011, this EXCEEDS my Expectation.
Time to fire up my Red Sox Mastercard (I live in SC now, so only Braves games are blacked out) and pull the trigger on the premium package!

You actually could do this on PS3 as of last year, so this is a great addition! Give me NFL Sunday Ticket now! Come on Steve...you can do it...
As for blackouts, it's no different than MLB Extra Innings on cable and Direct TV. This is actually cheaper, all games are in HD and you can watch the home or away telecast...

Anyone know if these updates are live/work in Canada? NBA would finally convince me to get an Apple TV...

Wow...No love for the Soccer fans. Would love to be able to watch games on the TV. Right now ESPN3 is my only option.

It would be nice if they had added ESPN3 as well. Maybe they could do a full sports package for like $150 a year or something. Because $100ish for each sport you want to watch is kinda steep. I wouldn't mind having NFL, MLB, and NBA on ATV2 but I'm not gonna drop $100/each (just assuming NFL will be $100 if it comes)

Yeah, they have this already on Samsung Blue Ray Players, Playstation 3 and Roku among others so it's not earthshattering but pretty cool. I was looking for a reason to get Apple TV for my bedroom television and this may be it since I already have the MLB.TV subscription. Although I guess I could just as easy hook my ipad up to my TV and do it that way instead of spending another $99. As for the NFL DirecTV has an exclusive on that (including online distribution) through 2014 however they trying to get this out to non-dish owners starting in 2012. Perhaps Apple could partner up with DirecTV and provide the portal to distribute this for DirecTv's non dish customers?

Not all Samsung Blu-Ray players have this. We have two and neither get MLB.TV. I almost pulled the trigger on buying a new one, so I'm glad I didn't.

Yep. Cable and satellite companies still win as long as local blackouts are still in place. If Apple really wants to take down cable, something will have to be done about that. I only have cable for local sports.

If you can get NBA games without blackout I would cancel cable tomorrow, that's the only reason I am keeping cable right now. But it seems like something you should be able to hack. Either way, GREAT NEWS!

I have an NBA league pass and live in the UK. It works great on the internet but I cannot get it woring or visible as a selection on the new AppleTV today.
I can see MLB.TV but not NBA - what am I doing wrong?

Hey peter, i'm in Australia and have experienced the same thing, i updated, restarted, and yes i have the MLB app under internet, but no NBA app, anyone else know how to fix this problem outside the US?

Also having the same issue in Australia at Peter and David. That is, took the Apple TV update, can now see MLB as an option but no NBA as I expected. Please help b/c everything I read suggests it should be there. I've also not had a league pass subscription before b/c didn't want to watch on my smallish computer screen, but now interested. The subscription should decrease in price as the season advances. Does that happen?

Same issue here! Desperately trying to figure out how to get NBA LP on my new apple tv. But icon does not appear... I'm in Switzerland, seems like everyone outside of the US has this issue.

ok i am in ny and the last frontier for cable companies is sports. you can basically get anything you want streamed except sports and you cant get the yankees but they are close. actually you can get the yankees. follow me here. the iphone app is 15 dollars. all you have to do is jailbreak get fake my location and bammm suddenly im in las vegas watching the yankees (with better announcers i must say). then airplay it to your tv. my only question is what happens when the playoffs start

I am a HUGE baseball fan! Anyone know how I can get this to work on the first generation Apple TV? Is it possible?

I'd put the original Apple TV up on eBay now, dude. It's been left behind in the hobby market.... The new ones are only $99 anyway and the original ones are selling for that much to hobbyists.

I thought about that but my big screen is a little old school. It does not have a HDMI port. Can I still connect the latest Apple TV?

More importantly, does 4.3 kill your jailbreak? And if I do upgrade it is possible to remove the usless NBA/MLB crapware?

Do I need to restart AppleTV to get this feature up and running, or does update 4.3 to my iPhone do it for me? Please help me out, cant wait to get this going....this is my first update for my new AppleTV so forgive them lack of knowledge
Thanks!

Still haven't had my question answered does anyone know if the NBA app is available on Apple TV (2nd Gen) in Australia? I restored, updated to 4.3 but still no NBA feature just the MLB one, I live in Oz wtf do I want baseball for?

I agree David. I want NBA, not interested in MLB in Australia. Anyway, rang Apple support who were helpful but answer is unfortunately that NBA app isn't supported on Apple TV in Australia. Only in the US. It would help if much of the communication on NBA being on apple TV noted that it is only available in the US. One day Aust will catch up I hope...

I live in Australia... Who cares about baseball in Australia????? I don't!! Why don't apple put something good on appletv. We have a very limited selection. No Netflix, nothing. Just over priced itunes rubbish.
Baseball, what a joke...

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