Peacock Sunday Morning Baseball will return for the 2023 MLB season, here is what you need to know to tune in.
Soon after Apple’s announcement of a Friday Night Baseball doubleheader last year, NBC Universal’s streaming service, Peacock, confirmed rumors that it was jumping into the MLB streaming fray as well with its own exclusive games on Sunday Mornings starting on May 8th of the 2022 season.
The bottom line for MLB fans with Sunday Morning Baseball for the 2023 season is this:
- Peacock Exclusive. Sunday Morning Baseball is a “streaming exclusive” series, meaning you can only watch the games on Peacock. The Sunday Morning games will result in blackouts for the regional sports networks that usually carry the featured teams, and you can’t watch the games on NBC.
- Requires a Paid Subscription. In order to watch the Sunday Morning games, a paid subscription to Peacock Premium is required. Peacock doesn’t offer any of its live sports programming, such as Premier League or Notre Dame football, in the free tier.
See also: Why MLB blackouts will continue to rise
Apple vs. Peacock: who got the better MLB streaming deal?
Some believe that Peacock’s MLB deal is more attractive than Apple’s. Why?
Peacock paid less
First, Peacock paid a reported 35 million for their MLB exclusives, whereas Apple is rumored to have paid 85 million. So, the first win for Peacock was their ability to secure a coveted weekly MLB game at considerable savings. Yes, they have fewer games than Apple, but the meat of the MLB action doesn’t heat up until later in summer anyway. The 2021 World Series Champion Braves had a losing record last season through the first third of their schedule. Not bidding on early season games with low engagement, and instead focusing on parts of the schedule that have more eyeballs on them, could be a brilliant move by Peacock executives.
Peacock has a favorable time slot
The Peacock Sunday morning games, which start at 11:30 AM EST, and then at noon as the season progresses, will be the only MLB game on at that time for the first two hours of each game. The next Sunday game won’t begin until 1:30-2 on the east coast. This means that the Peacock deal is not only platform exclusive (you can only watch on Peacock), but also time exclusive (this is the only option for MLB at this time slot).
Apple’s games competes with RSNs
By contrast, Apple’s Friday night game will be competing with regional sports networks all over the country. While you can stream Apple’s Friday Night Baseball nationwide, the fans in the local markets that get hit by a blackout on their usual RSN are going to be the most interested in the Apple game. In this way, the Apple game, even though it was more expensive by tens of millions of dollars, functions more as a regional broadcast and Peacock’s games as more of a national broadcast.
Peacock’s deal aligns with their news brand
While it’s true that Peacock fans will still have their RSN blacked out to enforce Peacock’s TV contract, the fact that the Peacock game is on at a time when fans don’t expect to get to watch baseball may soften that blow and leave MLB fans open minded to trying out this Sunday morning baseball thing. After all, many consumers already associate the NBC brand with Sunday Mornings due to the iconic new show, Meet the Press.
Peacock offers a better sports lineup. Last, Apple is new to sports, but Peacock has a respectable sports lineup and people already come to the app to live stream sporting events. My sense is that new subscribers are more likely to stick around if there are other sports they can watch on the platform. Adding more sports, perhaps a Big Ten Football game, would provide more value for Apple TV+ sports fans and may actually help to safeguard their investment in MLB.
Peacock 2022 MLB streaming schedule + RSN blackout list
In the easy to use table below, we list not only the 2022 MLB Peacock schedule, but also the regional sports networks that will be blacked out when that station’s local team appears in the game.
For example, Yankees fans won’t be able to stream the Peacock Sunday Morning game on the YES Network as NBC negotiated an exclusive deal. As I touched on above, the whole point of these exclusive games is to use the draw of live sports to attract new subscribers to these platforms. The question for the media executives spearheading these deals is how valuable are new users who arrive at your platform annoyed that their usual channel is blacked out? Will they sign up and stay, or take advantage of a free trial to watch their team and then cancel the next week?
Only time will tell.
|Date||Time||Matchup||RSNs blacked out|
|May 8||11:30 a.m. ET||Chicago White Sox at Boston Red Sox||NBC Sports Chicago & Boston|
|May 15||11:30 a.m. ET||San Diego Padres at Atlanta Braves||Bally Sports San Diego & South / Southeast|
|May 22||11:30 a.m. ET||St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates||Bally Sports Midwest & AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh|
|May 29||11:30 a.m. ET||San Francisco Giants at Cincinnati Reds||NBC Sports Bay Area & Bally Sports Ohio|
|June 5||11:30 a.m. ET||Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees||Bally Sports Detroit & YES Network|
|June 12||11:30 a.m. ET||Oakland Athletics at Cleveland Guardians||Bally Sports California & Bally Sports Great Lakes|
|June 19||Noon ET||Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals||NBC Sports Philadelphia & MASN|
|June 26||Noon ET||New York Mets at Miami Marlins||SportsNet NY & Bally Sports Florida|
|July 3||Noon ET||Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers||Bally Sports Kansas City & Bally Sports Detroit|
|July 10||Noon ET||Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles||Bally Sports West & MASN|
|July 17||Noon ET||Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue Jays||Bally Sports Kansas City|
|July 24||Noon ET||Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies||Marquee Sports Network & NBC Sports Philadelphia|
|July 31||Noon ET||Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays||Bally Sports Detroit|
|August 7||Noon ET||Houston Astros at Cleveland Guardians||AT&T SportsNet Southwest & Bally Sports Great Lakes|
|August 14||Noon ET||San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals||Bally Sports San Diego & MASN|
|August 21||Noon ET||Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Guardians||NBC Sports Chicago & Bally Sports Great Lakes|
|August 28||Noon ET||Los Angeles Dodgers at Miami Marlins||Spectrum SportsNet LA & Bally Sports Florida|
|September 4||Noon ET||Toronto Blue Jays at Pittsburgh Pirates||AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh|
Peacock Sunday Morning Baseball FAQ
No, although the games are produced by NBC Sports, you can’t watch Sunday Morning Baseball on your local NBC affiliate. One of the major drivers behind “streaming exclusive” games, like Sunday Morning Baseball, is the ability to motivate signups to the Peacock app in order to access exclusive content.