Photographer: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Apple Enters Major League Baseball Dugouts With iPad Partnership

  • MLB loosens decades-long ban on use of computers during games
  • Players, managers to access video, stats and scouting reports

Apple Inc. and Major League Baseball are teaming up to give players and coaches access to statistics, videos and scouting reports during games.

The world’s most valuable public company is equipping all 30 MLB teams with iPads for 2016, following a test late in the 2015 season, part of a multiyear agreement announced Wednesday.

Players, managers and coaches will have access to a new advanced scouting app called MLB Dugout, developed by MLB Advanced Media in collaboration with Apple. The app can help players scout opposing hitters and pitchers, and help coaches make real-time decisions about personnel and in-game strategy. The deal coincides with baseball relaxing a ban on the use of computers and tablets in the dugout and bullpen during games.

“Apple’s groundbreaking products, which have already improved the access that fans have to our sport, will now inform the decisions that make our games interesting and exciting throughout the year," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in the statement.

Terms of the partnership weren’t released. Microsoft Corp. has a $400 million, five-year deal with the National Football League that includes use of its tablet, the Surface, on the sidelines during games.

Videos and scouting reports can be uploaded to the iPads via private networks, installed this offseason in all home and visiting locker rooms. The tablets won’t have access to the Internet during games, and won’t be able to stream live video.

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