NBC Sports’ regional networks have signed a deal with MLBAM to stream local market MLB games, as well as pre- and postgame shows, starting with the 2017 regular season.
The livestreams will be available through an authenticated app to pay-TV customers. MLB teams covered by the new feature include the Chicago Cubs (CSN Chicago), Chicago White Sox (CSN Chicago), Philadelphia Phillies (CSN Philadelphia), Oakland Athletics (CSN California) and San Francisco Giants (CSN Bay Area).
The live games will be accessible on a PC or with the NBC Sports app, which is available for Android and iOS as well as Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.
“This is a home run for our local sports fans,” said David Preschlack, president of NBC Sports Regional Networks, in a statement. “We are constantly looking for ways to better serve our fans and provide comprehensive coverage of their favorite teams. With the addition of MLB in-market streaming rights, they don’t have to miss a pitch.”
Major League Baseball has a history of being stingy with live game streaming rights but the NBC deal is further proof the league may be relaxing a bit. The agreement comes about one year after the MLB signed a similar deal with Fox’s regional sports networks, allowing Fox's 15 RSN channels to livestream games in-market.
That deal increased livestreaming access for fans of teams including the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals.
NBC Sports regional networks already feature livestreams for local NBA and NHL games, with the NBA streaming deal dating back to 2014 and the NHL in-market streaming deal beginning for the 2016-17 season.
According to a news release, NBC Sports Regional Networks now have partnerships for in-market streaming of:
- Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, San Jose Sharks, San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s (CSN Bay Area/CSN California)
- Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox (CSN Chicago)
- Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals (CSN Mid-Atlantic)
- Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia Phillies (CSN Philadelphia)
- Boston Celtics (CSN New England).