Is Sunday Morning Baseball something that would interest you? MLB and Peacock are hoping the answer is yes.
According to the Wall Street Journal, part of NBC’s new rights deal with MLB will involve broadcasting Sunday games on its streaming service. And to avoid conflict with most games played at 1 p.m. ET throughout the league, some of the 18 broadcasts scheduled for Peacock could start as early as 11:30 a.m. ET or just before noon.
The Peacock Sunday broadcasts will be exclusive to the streaming service and not available on MLB teams’ respective regional sports networks (and thus, not MLB.TV either). NBC is also expected to stream Monday and Wednesday telecasts (previously shown on ESPN) during its two-year deal. Previously, those telecasts were not exclusive but simulcasts from RSNs and blacked out in local markets.
MLB and NBC Sports have yet to officially announce their new deal, but it’s expected to be finalized this week now that baseball and the players union have agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement. The 2022 MLB season is now scheduled to begin on April 7.
The NBC Sports/Peacock rights deal is one of two streaming packages MLB has lined up for the 2022 season and beyond. Apple has also agreed to a deal to stream baseball games in an exclusive Friday night package including two games each week. Those broadcasts will be exclusive to Apple TV+.
With these two new deals, baseball fans will now likely be looking for their team’s games or standout matchups on a variety of outlets. Two of those platforms will be entirely new to fans for watching baseball, and they’ll have to sign up for subscriptions to do so.
The majority of a team’s games will be available on its RSN. But in a given week, broadcasts could be on Peacock (and occasionally NBC), Turner (which will now air games Tuesday nights as part of its new rights deal), Apple, ESPN (Sunday Night Baseball), MLB Network, and Fox (or FS1, on Saturdays). That could be quite a whiparound on a particular week.
Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX
“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”
FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.
A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.
The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.
Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.
That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.
Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.
FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”
The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.
Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.
Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.
“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”
Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.
“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.
FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.
NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC
“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”
ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.
ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.
This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.
Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.
“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”
ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.