Comcast’s streaming television service Peacock will distribute three Major League Baseball (MLB) games later this week.
The announcement was made by the league itself in a press release on Monday that said Peacock will stream for free a series of games played between the Philadelphia Phillies and the San Francisco Giants.
Comcast holds the local broadcast rights to regular season games played by the San Francisco and Philadelphia baseball teams. Those games typically air on NBC Sports-branded regional cable channels, which Comcast owns.
Peacock currently offers three tiers of service: A free, ad-supported version with a limited amount of content, and two premium versions that cost between $5 a month and $10 a month. In a statement, Comcast and Major League Baseball said the games would be available to Peacock streamers no matter which tier of service they use.
The first game will begin with a pre-show that is set to stream around 9 p.m. Eastern Time (6 p.m. Pacific Time) on Friday. The final two games will open with a similar pre-show that will begin at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time (12:30 p.m. Pacific Time) on Saturday and Sunday.
The telecasts will feature a combined broadcast group featuring commentators who are known to Phillies and Giants fans alike. It will also serve as something of a test for Comcast’s streaming service: Though the cable company has offered a limited amount of sports content over the last few months, it pales in comparison to the kind of attention a MLB game might bring to the service.
Peacock, which is available on most major phone, tablet and smart TV platforms (except Amazon Fire TV, as of Wednesday), has committed to offering other major sports in the future, including coverage of the upcoming summer Olympic events and some nationally-televised football games starting next year.
This is not the first time MLB has decided to move some of its games to a streaming platform. Starting in 2019, MLB offered a handful of games to Google-owned YouTube for online distribution. Some of those games were also aired on terrestrial and regional cable television in certain markets.
Amazon, which co-owns the YES Network, has streamed a limited number of New York Yankees games via its Prime Video service since 2020. Those games are limited primarily to the region that was once served by the Yankees’ over-the-air broadcast partners.