Jason Benetti To Handle Play-By-Play for Peacock's 'Sunday Leadoff' Games

MLB announcer Jason Benetti
Chicago White Sox and ESPN announcer Jason Benetti will handle play-by-play chores on Peacock's Sunday MLB package. (Image credit: Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images)

Peacock said Jason Benetti will be the play-by-play voice for MLB Sunday Leadoff, the streaming service's weekly package of early baseball games.

Benetti, who does White Sox games on NBC Sports Chicago, will be joined by a local analyst during each game. 

“Jason is one of the best baseball announcers in the business,” said Sam Flood, NBC Sports executive producer. “We’re excited to expand his role within the NBC Sports family with a new national MLB platform to complement his role as the voice of the White Sox for NBC Sports Chicago.”

The first MLB Sunday Leadoff game on Peacock will be May 8 when the White Sox play the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The telecast will start at 11:30 a.m. ET and Peacock’s coverage will be simulcast on NBC.

“I am simply ecstatic to be a part of MLB Sunday Leadoff,” Benetti said. “One of the true joys of calling games is knowing that each partner I work with provides a new perspective, energy and personality to the telecast. To get to start the baseball day on Sunday every week with analysts who are so knowledgeable about their teams and distinct as people will be an absolute pleasure.”

Sports is becoming an increasingly important piece of ammunition in the streaming wars. Apple TV Plus also has a deal with MLB to stream national doubleheaders on Friday nights and Amazon, a part owner of the YES Network, will stream Yankees games in a TV package local to the New York City market.

Benetti has been calling MLB games nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio since 2011. Last summer Benetti was NBC Sports' lead baseball play-by-play announcer during the Tokyo Olympics. 

Peacock's package will have it airing baseball for 18 consecutive weeks. The first six games start at 11:30 a.m. ET. The following 12 will start at noon.

Each game will be surrounded with pre-game and post-game shows produced by NBC Sports on Peacock. Ahmed Fareed is the host of MLB Sunday Leadoff. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.