Perhaps there will be an MLB season in 2022, or at least some form of an MLB season. Given the status of the lockout, we really don’t know.
But we can safely assume once all these multimillionaires get the dollars to make sense, baseball will someday return. And when it does, NBC Sports is hoping to become a player in carrying live broadcasts of its games. Apple is also a player in all this.
Per Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, MLB has been in talks with NBC about carrying games, primarily on NBC’s Peacock streaming app. Marchand described the talks as fairly serious, indicating a deal could get done before the lockout ends. That would enable NBC Sports/Peacock to carry games as soon as this season (again, provided their is one).
“MLB has been looking for a $100 million to $150 million total payout for these games,” Marchand reported, citing industry sources. “The amount NBC and Apple could pay is not yet known, but Apple is expected to pay the majority of it.”
It seems that NBC Sports and Apple would carry midweek games, something touched on by Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing.
“Given that these games are non-exclusive (meaning they air on RSNs in the local markets, and are typically blacked out on the national network in those markets), this more seems like a way for the two companies to add some live content to their streaming services rather than a more significant move,” Lucia wrote.
“Additionally, MLB’s new TV deals with Turner, Fox, and ESPN are just beginning, meaning that Apple and/or NBC would need to wait several years if they wanted a more significant package. Yeah, the midweek games are a foot in the door, but how long will they really keep waiting with MLB’s fourth-tier package?”
Of course, most baseball fans are just hoping to watch games anyway, anywhere this season. If they actually will get that chance remains baseball’s biggest mystery.