Major League Baseball is currently going through a work stoppage, but that hasn’t stopped the league from securing agreements off the field. After announcing an agreement with Apple to stream live Friday Night Baseball games on Apple TV+, MLB and NBC Sports have reached a multi-year deal to bring America’s Pastime to Peacock, according to a new report from Mike Ozanian of Forbes.
More details about the deal from Ozanian’s report:
In addition, Forbes has learned that MLB has come to terms with a two-year streaming deal with Comcast’s NBC Sports for the Mnoday and Wednesday Night games ESPN did not pick up in its new agreement with MLB, mainly to stream on Peacock. This deal starts this season and is worth $30 million annually.
It was reported last week that MLB and NBC Sorts were in ”serious talks” about bringing the league over to NBC’s broadcast network where a “sliver” of games will air with most of the games airing on Peacock.
According to Ozanian’s report, the MLB saw a 26% increase in its national media deals with the new Apple and NBC Sports deals. A rights fee of $55 million combined with $30 million worth of advertising will make up the $85 million per year, over 7 years, that Apple will spend on their Friday night doubleheaders, according to sources who spoke to Forbes off the record.
Prior to the league’s newest deals, it received $1.55 billion from its national media partners: $700 million from ESPN, $525 million from Fox, $325 million from TBS, which was split between MLB’s 30 teams as part of its revenue-sharing agreement. With ESPN relinquishing rights to weekday games and the league adding Apple and NBC as partners, the new national media agreement is worth $1.96 billion: $550 million from ESPN, $755 million from Fox, $535 million from TBS, $85 million from Apple, and $30 million from NBC Sports.
As the league has bolstered its media presence with increased revenue, this could be the first step in the players and owners reaching an agreement to start the season. Without an on-the-field product, MLB made the decision to delay auto-renewals of MLB.TV.
Cord cutting MLB fans are weighing their options while waiting to stream the Big Show once again. The national deal could also be a first step in the league figuring out a new way to stream in-market games by putting the game directly in the hands of consumers.
The league’s 162-game regular season seems to be in jeopardy, but if a deal is reached soon, fans will have a grand slam of streaming services to watch the upcoming season.