Peacock to offer live MLB games on Sundays

(Logo: NBCUniversal/Comcast, Graphic: The Desk)

Comcast-owned streaming service Peacock says it will begin offering access to live Major League Baseball games starting in May.

The games will start at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Sundays and will include pre-game and post-game coverage produced by NBC Sports. After six weeks, the live events will move to 12 p.m. Eastern Time and pre- and post-game coverage will shift accordingly, Comcast said.

The early start time for Peacock’s Sunday morning and afternoon games are intended to give Comcast a limited window of exclusivity, which could help it attract more subscribers and increase its advertising revenue. No other MLB game will begin on Sunday until at least 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time, the league affirmed in a statement.

“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,” Peter Bevacqua, the chairman of NBC Sports, said in a prepared statement released on Wednesday. NBC first aired baseball games in the late 1930s.

The first nationally-televised MLB game to stream on Peacock will be a match between the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox at Boston’s Fenway Park. That game will also air on NBC; subsequent Sunday morning and afternoon MLB games will stream exclusively on Peacock.

“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,” Noah Garden, the chief revenue officer for MLB, said in a statement. “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.”

Comcast did not say whether subscribers will need a premium subscription to Peacock in order to access the games. The premium tier starts at $5 a month with advertisements, though certain Comcast cable and Internet customers are able to get that package for free as part of their service.

In addition to Peacock, MLB games will stream elsewhere on the Internet, including on Apple TV Plus each Friday. A limited number of New York Yankees games will stream on Amazon, which is a partial owner of the YES Network.

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