NBC’s Peacock joins the ever-expanding roster of outlets featuring an MLB game broadcast, with the streaming service unveiling a new Sunday morning MLB package, beginning in May.
Beginning on May 8, Peacock will live stream an NBC Sports-produced baseball game for 18 consecutive weeks, with start times for the first six Sunday games at 11:30 a.m. ET and the following 12 Sunday games beginning at Noon ET. Each game will feature NBC Sports-produced pregame and post-game shows on Peacock.
The first game (Chicago White Sox vs. Boston Red Sox from Fenway Park on May 8 at 11:30 a.m. ET) will be simulcast on the NBC broadcast network, with the remaining 17 games available exclusively on Peacock. In addition, Peacock will be the exclusive home of the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game – featuring top minor league prospects, scheduled for All-Star Week in July at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
On each of the 18 Sundays that Peacock presents a game, it will be scheduled as the exclusive home of live MLB action until 1:30 p.m. ET that day, when the remainder of the day’s schedule will begin.
Peacock will also feature classic MLB games, award-winning documentaries from the MLB Film & Video Archive, and highlight packages available on-demand in a new MLB hub.
The announcement of the NBC deal is the latest expansion of MLB streaming rights. In March MLB and Apple announced Friday Night Baseball doubleheaders will debut Apple TV+ this season along with live pre- and postgame shows.
“Friday Night Baseball” will be available on Apple TV+—and, for a limited time, without the need for a subscription.
The games will be available free from local broadcast restrictions, across devices where Apple TV+ can be found, including on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV 4K and HD, and on tv.apple.com, along with select smart TVs, streaming services like Roku and Amazon Fire, gaming consoles and cable set-top boxes. You can read more here.
And we’re also seeing individual teams offer exclusive access to game broadcasts. Though it’s not been officially announced, it’s been reported the New York Yankees will offer 21 games available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, mostly Friday night matches. Not a surprise: we’ve been reporting literally for years that the Yankees and Amazon were working on such a deal, which ended up being delayed by COVID. This will no doubt cause plenty of screaming among the Yankees faithful: traditionally Friday night games have been broadcast free of charge locally on WPIX.
And, of course, games out of your local market will be offered on the MLB.TV subscription. (Yes, the definition of local market is incredibly wonky: since multiple teams claim Iowa and Las Vegas as part of their “local market,” the number of games available to viewers in those markets are limited.) If you’re a T-Mobile customer, you can sign up for a free MLB.TV subscription via that vendor’s T-Mobile Tuesday, an offer good through April 12.
And, of course, there are also plenty of broadcasts scheduled for TBS, ESPN and MLB Network.
Still, by expanding the number of outlets offering game broadcasts, there is the danger of consumer fatigue: Is my game on Peacock or ESPN or MLB.TV or TBS or Apple TV+ or Amazon Prime Video or Bally? Is it blacked out? In a poll from Nielsen, about half of consumers polled say they were overwhelmed by the sheer number of offerings available on streaming services. The good news is that for now the fatigue won’t cause them to cut back on their subscriptions. For now.