The owners of Major League Baseball continue negotiations with the MLB Players Association on a new labor contract. But once that gets resolved and actual games are scheduled, it’s believed NBC and Peacock will get in on broadcast rights.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Monday that the league has been shopping games around to both NBC and Apple in hopes that one or both would jump at the opportunity. BSM has previously written in recent months on Apple looking to get into the live sports world.
MLB talking to other networks comes as ESPN scales back its slate of games to put Sunday Night Baseball on a higher pedestal and will likely take on additional games from an expanded postseason.
Fox Sports and Turner Sports remain key partners for MLB. Fox has its national game of the week in addition to regular broadcasts on FS1 during the season. It also switches off with Turner each year for coverage of the Division Series and League Championship Series, while Fox remains the exclusive home of the World Series.
Marchand reports the deal is going to be in the neighborhood of $100 million to $150 million.
NBC hasn’t broadcast Major League Baseball on its airwaves since the 2000 World Series. And if MLB Network produces the telecasts, as expected, it’s possible that Bob Costas could end up back on NBC. It is believed that if the network comes on board, the majority of games would be shown on streaming platform Peacock.
But first, MLB and the players union need to make sure there are baseball games to be broadcast.
Cris Collinsworth Wonders If Tom Brady Knows Broadcasting Is a Hard Job
“It’s a seven day a week job. For somebody that has reached where he’s reached in the NFL and made that kind of money, I’m honestly really surprised.”
Many in the sports media industry were surprised by the news that Tom Brady will join FOX Sports as the lead NFL analyst when he eventually decides to end his playing career. That includes the current lead analyst of NBC’s Sunday Night Football telecasts, Cris Collinsworth.
“I’m a little surprised,” he said on the latest episode of The Cris Collinsworth Podcast. “There’s no amount of money they could throw at him that would have influenced him. He’s going to still be working weekends for half the year no matter what it is.”
Collinsworth mentioned that he hears from most people and they ask him what the TV life is like when they are thinking about getting into the industry. Tom Brady was not one of those people. He hopes the GOAT knows what he is in for.
“It’s hard. I’m working on the airplane when I’m flying home from the other game. I’m working on the next game. It’s a seven day a week job. For somebody that has reached where he’s reached in the NFL and made that kind of money, I’m honestly really surprised. I guess the money now has gotten to the point where it’s of interest to everybody.”
While some might be unsure about how Brady will do in the FOX NFL booth with Kevin Burkhardt, count Collinsworth in as one of those people who think Brady will do a great job.
“I think he’ll be fantastic. Every conversation I have ever had with him about the game of football, you always go oh, I didn’t know. He’s always been pretty open and honest with us. He has a real personal side to the game…He’s got it all, but I’ve got to say I am surprised.”
Sunday Night Baseball Viewership Up On ESPN
“Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers.”
The first month of the 2022 MLB regular season has concluded and ESPN is celebrating an uptick in viewership for Sunday Night Baseball.
The network announced on Tuesday that viewership for Sunday Night Baseball is up 4% compared to this time last year. In addition to that, compared to the 2020 full season average, ratings are up 40%.
Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers. The Dodgers/Cubs game on May 8 averaged 1.781 million and peaked at over 2.1 million viewers during the 8-8:15 p.m. window.
Karl Ravech, Eduardo Perez and David Cone comprise the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth, with Buster Olney contributing reports.
Nickelodeon Gets Christmas Day NFL Game
“This will be the network’s first regular season game.”
The NFL’s Christmas triple header will include a little slime this year. The afternoon game between the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos will be simulcast on CBS and Nickelodeon.
Nickelodeon has ramped up its NFL presence each year since 2020. The network has aired a kid-friendly broadcast of a Wild Card Round playoff game each of the last two seasons. Last year’s tile between the 49ers and Cowboys drew an audience of 41 million.
Before the start of last season, the studio show NFL Slimetime debuted. This will be the network’s first regular season game.
Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm Eastern on Christmas Day. No details of what Nickelodeon’s coverage may include are available yet. Nate Burleson, Noah Eagle and Nickelodeon star Gabrielle Nevaeh Green have been on the call of the network’s previous NFL broadcasts.