MLB and NBC Sports have had serious talks about the network broadcasting games this season, The Post has learned.
If a deal comes to fruition, most of the games are expected to be on NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock.
The Post has previously reported that Apple and MLB had held serious talks. While no deals are yet official, the expectation is that Apple and NBC would both be involved this year.
MLB has been looking for a $100 million-$150 million total payout for these games, according to sources. The amount NBC and Apple could pay is not yet known, but Apple is expected to pay the majority of it.
One drawback so far: there needs to be actual games to telecast. The owners and players are trying to negotiate a new labor contract, and the owners have locked out the players.
But if there is labor peace, NBC is expected to have a small sliver of broadcasts, while Peacock would handle the majority of the games through its streaming service.
There is a good chance that MLB Network will be producing the broadcasts, which could mean a return of Bob Costas to NBC. Costas had spent four decades with NBC. He is MLBN’s lead play-by-player.
NBC last had baseball on its air in 2000.
For Apple TV+, the expectation is that MLB Network will handle the production.
MLB’s main national broadcasts remain with Fox Sports, ESPN and Turner. Fox is the home of the World Series and weekly regular-season games. ESPN has “Sunday Night Baseball” and, if expanded playoffs are added in a new CBA, will have the rights to the first round of the postseason. Turner will have weekly Tuesday night regular season games and will broadcast the playoffs, including a League Championship series.
MLB has had more regular-season inventory to sell since ESPN has reduced the number of national games it would televise during the week, eliminating its regular Monday and Wednesday telecasts to focus on more marquee regular-season matchups, “Sunday Night Baseball” and the potential expanded MLB playoffs.
MLB has had talks with many parties about these games, including Barstool Sports, which The Post reported in August.
For MLB, it furthers relationships with Comcast, NBC’s parent company and an owner of regional sports networks, and Apple, which has partnered with MLB since the beginning of the app store.