Gunnar Henderson Orioles Apr 9, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson (2) steals third base against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

MLB’s media rights deal with Peacock, a two-year pact calling for Sunday morning games, ended after the 2023 season. And while the first two weeks of the season have seen zero Sunday morning games, the package could return this year, albeit on another platform.

Per The Athletic, MLB is “closing in on an agreement” with a new media partner.

When the previous deal’s expiration was reported in December, MLB was “exploring options” for the future of the Sunday morning window. At the time, Peacock was considered a potential suitor.

But now, Peacock and NBC seem to be fading out of the picture. The Athletic reports that NBC is interested in a new deal for the package, dubbed Sunday Leadoff during its two years on Peacock, but wants a discount on the pithy $30 million it was paying annually for the games.

In my mind, two possible outlets stand out from the rest of the pack. YouTube has aired exclusive MLB games over several years, and the streamer picking up an MLB package again makes sense on paper. Amazon also somewhat makes sense, given the streamer’s investment in the Diamond Sports Group and their minority ownership of YES Network. It could also serve as an olive branch from Amazon to MLB after the league was cool on Amazon’s investment in Diamond.

If you want a dark horse, how about CBS adding the games to Paramount+? CBS regularly aired MLB games in the 1950s and 1960s and also had four years as MLB’s main national broadcast partner in the early 1990s (for better and worse). The network was also reportedly teaming up with TBS for MLB rights back in 2012, but TBS ended up agreeing to a new MLB deal of its own without CBS involvement.

[The Athletic]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.