Comcast NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service confirmed that it will stream a package of 18 Sunday morning Major League Baseball games starting in May.
The games will be surrounded by a pre-game and post-game show, all produced by NBC Sports, which first broadcast baseball games in 1939.
The move comes as sports is becoming an increasingly important piece of ammunition in the streaming wars. Apple TV Plus also has a deal with MLB to stream doubleheaders on Friday nights and Amazon, a part owner of the YES Network, will stream Yankees games.
Peacock’s games will start at a new time of 11:30 a.m. for the first six weeks and at noon the following 12 weeks. The early start time gives Peacock an exclusive window when no other MLB teams will be playing, a move designed to maximize Peacock’s audiences size and ad revenues.
"We are excited to announce this multi-year partnership with Major League Baseball, which will exclusively offer Peacock subscribers a premium property in a unique time slot for the sport, while continuing NBC Sports’ rich baseball history,” said Pete Bevacqua, chairman, NBC Sports.
The first Peacock game will feature the Chicago White Sox playing the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on May 8. It will be simulcast on NBC.
“As consumption habits continue to evolve, it is important for us to provide new ways for fans who are outside the cable bundle to watch MLB games,” said Noah Garden, MLB chief revenue officer. “This agreement marks an exciting new chapter to the extensive history of innovation between MLB and NBC Sports in delivering exciting baseball action to our fans.”
Peacock has been increasing the amount of sports it carries. In February it had the Olympics and the Super Bowl. It also has Premier League soccer, Notre Dame football, the NTT IndyCar racing series, and WWE wrestling. ■
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.
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