Apple’s Friday Night Baseball on Apple TV+ blends sports, technology and accessibility

Announced with great fanfare at Apple’s annual spring event last month, it’s the company’s first foray into live sports programming on its video streaming service, dubbed Friday night baseballIt premiered last Friday night. Apple’s deal with Major League Baseball makes Apple TV+ the exclusive home of two MLB games every week of the season. The list started with a double header for the Mets-National game from Washington, D.C., followed by the Astros and Angels of Anaheim.

Apple shared details via a press release last week about game production, including the diversity of the broadcast teams. Notably, Melanie Newman, the Baltimore Orioles anchor, became the second woman to take on a play-by-play role in a nationally broadcast game when she contacted the Mets-Nationals. Additionally, Lauren Gardner, a frequent face on the MLB Network (and the NHL Network), hosts pre- and post-game shows for Friday night baseball. Along with games, daily events, and other in-season content, the TV app features a large selection of baseball-centric content in the sports section, including a catalog of classic MLB-backed shows such as This week in baseball And world championship movies.

As a heavy baseball addict from early childhood, it was exciting—not to mention journalistic—for me to tune in. Friday night baseball. An early match, the NL East match between the Mets and Nationals, got me very curious about the accessibility of the broadcast. Although esoteric to a certain category of casual viewers, the reality is that the technical aspects of a television show of any sporting event are an important consideration for people who are blind or visually impaired. It makes perfect sense – the TV is nothing more than a giant screen on which you consume content, and like the iPhone, iPad, iMac or even the Apple Watch, the “user interface” is important. The text is important. Colors matter. Contrast is important. How fun is watching a baseball game if you can’t see the score or what is the turn or how many runners or how many runners? For those with typical (or close to) eyesight, they may not think twice about this. On the other hand, visually impaired people may find evaluating graphics packages as necessary to the experience as it is nerdy. I definitely fit in with this demographic, so I paid close attention to how Apple and MLB decided to literally deliver. Friday night baseball Max Scherzer made his debut as the Mets.

In general, initial impressions were positive in one match.

Although the games are produced by MLB Network in partnership with Apple, it is immediately noticeable who gets the highest billing in this joint venture. Everything from the studio to the flags on the microphones use your local San Francisco Apple line. Initially created for watchOS, it’s a beautiful typeface that distinguishes Apple in its accuracy. What makes it so attractive from an accessibility perspective is its clarity and clarity. Even at smaller sizes, text and numbers are crisp and clear; I found myself having no problems reading the score, the number of runners, or who was on the board, for example. San Francisco is perfectly legible – The ‘5’ is very hard to confuse with the ‘S’, which can be more difficult to distinguish with other fonts.

Proportional to the text itself is the contrast. For the main info box, Apple chose a high-branding theme (for TV +) from white text set against a black background. As one might think, the contrast here is flawless and fits well with the aforementioned clarity factor. Apple chose similar designs for the other overlays, including the current hitter and any relevant statistical callouts. It works fine too, with one warning in the lower right corner of the screen.

In a move that will alarm statistic gurus around the world, Apple has dedicated the aforementioned right-hand corner to what the company describes as “innovative new probability-based predictions of different situational outcomes” to show fans the likelihood of a man driving his car on a run. Or setting a good goal or something. It is debatable whether seeing these percentages is really useful given the small sample sizes. Still, it’s a nice media touch that talks about what Apple and MLB can do to better engage audiences, in terms of software. Most importantly, these overlays of possibilities are no more visually accessible than the rest of the graphics. The contrast is lower because the information is only overlaid on the field, so the white text tends to blend into the background. Its smaller size doesn’t help matters either. it was there Reviews on Twitter About showing this metadata at first, but if Apple and MLB insist on it, the design can be improved. Put the additional information into the box in the same way as the main, similar to how CBS displays the current leaderboard while covering Masters golf. Or maybe you use a heavier font weight to compensate for transparency and enhance legibility. It will also be useful if the base base index is slightly larger; FOX’s baseball graphics are especially good in this regard.

On the plus side, deaf and hard-of-hearing people can access the crew captions advertised in a big, cool font. Spatial audio is supported, as is a large number of HD cameras. (No official word yet on 4K broadcasts, but a reasonable assumption will be in the works later in the season.) Question marks include whether Apple plans to support audio-appropriate descriptions for games, as well as other accessibility improvements for the blind and visually impaired community. Separate from the recommendations in this story.

As these criticisms make clear, not everyone who watches TV can see very well. Along the same lines, kuda It has subtitles because, of course, it’s clear that not everyone speaks sign language; The translation is there for – that’s right – for accessibility!

Overall, it’s important to choose such things because TV is, once again, another screen that tech companies have to take in if they want to use their war chests to invest in their streaming services rollout. On Apple’s part, it’s rounds too early – pun exactly intended – for its own sake Friday night baseball. For them, the production value is good but there is still much room for improvement. It’s an opportunity for Apple to not only dip their toes into carrying live sports, but also apply their own sensibilities to make this new product as accessible as possible to all baseball fans, including the disabled.

this week Friday night baseball He has the Tampa Bay Rays facing the White Sox from Chicago’s south side early in the game, while the Cincinnati Reds play the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Leave a Comment