Roku MLB Sunday Leadoff image via Roku/MLB

Following this week’s announcement that MLB had sold its Sunday Leadoff package of games to Roku, one question that wasn’t immediately answered was “how much is Roku paying?”

We now have the answer. Per The Athletic, the number is just $10 million annually on a three-year pact. Furthermore, the deal is somewhat backloaded, with MLB getting only $8 million for the 2024 season, $10 million in 2025, and $12 million in 2026.

The $30 million Roku will be paying over three years is the same that Peacock was paying annually in each of the two seasons it aired Sunday Leadoff.

MLB’s deal with NBC and Peacock expired after the 2023 season. The company wanted to retain the package of Sunday morning games but wanted a significant price cut on the $30 million it had been paying.

Eventually, Roku emerged as a surprise bidder, with its Roku Channel FAST channel announced as the landing spot this week.

Calling the Roku deal a drop in the bucket for MLB and its teams is an understatement. The league’s minimum salary for players in 2024 is $740,000, meaning that each team’s cut of the $8 million in rights fees Roku is paying would cover a little more than one-third of the annual salary for a player making the league minimum. Even the league’s cheapest teams aren’t hurting for money that badly.

But this isn’t really about money. It’s about getting games in front of more people. In the release announcing the deal, Roku touted that the Roku Channel has a reach of 120 million people, higher than all traditional cable or satellite providers and any streaming service not named Netflix, Prime Video, or Disney+.

Only time will tell if the continuation of Sunday Leadoff will be a success for MLB.

About Joe Lucia

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