MLB signs Apple, NBC to new deals

Major League Baseball has signed a broadcast rights deal with Apple and NBC valued at $115 million a year — even as more games are canceled due to the players’ lockout. 

Apple’s deal includes streaming rights at a cost of $85 million per year for the next seven years. The deal will allow Apple to stream two games per week under the name “Friday Night Baseball.” A clause allows Apple to drop out of the deal after the first or second year.

MLB and NBC have inked a deal for additional broadcast rights. NBC Sports will pick up Monday and Wednesday games that were previously aired on ESPN. These games will mostly stream on Peacock.

The Disney owned sports network opted to drop those games from its lineup. NBC is paying about $30 million for these rights. 

Going forward, this means MLB has broadcast deals with ESPN, Fox, TBS, Apple and NBC totaling an estimated $1.96 billion a year, a nice hike from the $1.55 billion a year it was making before the realignment of ESPN games to NBC and additional Apple rights.

ESPN has significantly decreased its investment in MLB games from $700 million annually to $500 million, while Fox and TBS both upped what they are paying.

TBS parent WarnerMedia and Fox both signed extension deals with MLB in recent years that run through 2028. They are both slated to carry more games starting with the 2022 season, which is part of the reason for the increase in fees.

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