2022 has been a big year year for MLB expanding into the world of streaming exclusive broadcast windows.
That includes the Friday night Apple package, as well as Peacock’s Sunday morning/afternoon slate of games. For the latter, NBC has named their play-by-play choice: Jason Benetti, who works both as the White Sox lead voice as well as in a variety of roles for ESPN.
That’s according to this report from the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, who also notes that the weekly Peacock booth will feature a rotating cast of analysts from the teams involved.
NBC/Peacock is going with up-and-coming play-by-player Jason Benetti and local analysts for its exclusive late Sunday morning MLB games, The Post has learned.
Benetti, 38, is currently the voice of the Chicago White Sox and calls several sports for ESPN. He is expected to be joined by one analyst from each of the given teams that are on each week.
The first game will feature the White Sox at the Red Sox at 11:30 a.m. on May 8 on NBC and Peacock. It will be Benetti with one White Sox analyst and one Red Sox analyst. The rest of the games will only be on the Peacock streaming service.
This isn’t quite the same as an exclusive primetime window of games, but Benetti is a very solid choice for Peacock and NBC. He’s a pro, and is clearly familiar with the world of baseball. In addition, his work across a variety of sports and with multiple different broadcast partners (including names like Bill Walton) makes him a solid anchor for the rotating booth experiment.
That choice, by the way, is maybe the most interesting one here. Three-person booths tend to be a bit unwieldy overall, but the idea of always having someone in the booth who knows one of the teams involved on a deeper level (and presumably has some familiarity to fans of that team) is an intriguing one.
NBC might lose a bit of continuity and comfort that goes along with an established team, but variety and more specific insights might be a net positive overall. If it works, it could be a model for other networks and streaming services going forward.