Ah, so there are the exclusive games.
Last month, we learned some of the bits about the NBC/Peacock streaming deal with MLB, which would allow the streaming service to carry the former ESPN Monday and Wednesday night games non-exclusively (i.e., the local RSNs would also still have the games). Turns out there is another slate of games going to Peacock, and these ones ARE exclusive:
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) April 6, 2022
The slate of Sunday morning games features just one Cubs game, which you may view as good or bad:
— Peacock (@peacockTV) April 6, 2022
Can we talk about how most of the games are not actually starting in the morning? (I kid. They are actually all morning for everyone not in the Eastern Time zone … )
As with the Apple deal, I think it’s a good idea for MLB to look into the future – and it’s streaming platforms, clearly, and not cable bundles – and spread around the availability of its games. People beef about games being all over the place, and I get that from the hardcore folks (I am, personally, not pleased about Cubs games being in a bunch of different places (again)). But for what MLB is trying to accomplish – engaging and retaining more casual fans at a mere casual level – I think this is an appropriate step.
THAT SAID … I don’t like that the games are exclusive to Peacock subscribers. I totally get it from NBC’s perspective, but you’ll note that the Friday Night Double-Header games on Apple are going to be free – you have to have the Apple TV app, yes, but you DON’T have to have an Apple TV+ subscription (yet). I don’t love that the only fans who can see these particular games are folks who subscribe to Peacock already (I simply don’t believe that any kind of large volume of people are subscribing to Peacock, for the first time, just to get one or two of these games). That feels like a miss.
This is reminiscent of the new Amazon Yankees deal, albeit at a national scale. That deal took about 13% of the Yankees games OFF of the YES Network and put them exclusively on Amazon Prime. That’s a future proposition I don’t love.