MLB to stream games on Peacock, try to appeal to younger generation trends

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MLB has made a rare move that could help it attract a younger audience.

MLB has made a rare move that could help it attract a younger audience.
Picture: Getty Images

When I told my mom about NBC’s impending $30 million reports agreement to broadcast a dozen and a half Major League Baseball games on Peacock, she moaned. No more streaming, no more trouble when all you want to do is just turn on the TV and watch the football game.

When I broke the news to my children, they were thrilled. They just watched a lot of the Olympics on Peacock, and they’re masters of remote control for streaming apps… less so when it comes to that alien concept of “channels” that are assigned “numbers.”

I’m leaning more towards my mom’s point of view: just put the baseball in the same spot and don’t make us search for our games, and don’t charge us for three different services just to be able to watch our favorite. team all summer.

I also understand that this agreement does not apply to those of us who were born in the 20th century. Streaming games early on Sundays is the best way for MLB to reach kids in a way that baseball just hasn’t had in years.

It’s partly baseball’s fault, and not even because of today’s kids with their short attention spans, video games and Facegram. That’s because nearly all major league teams schedule the bulk of their Saturday night home games.

When your sport starts at 7 p.m. and lasts more than three hours, it means that many children, even during the summer holidays, do not stay awake until the end of the games. And when you’re competing with all those other factors for kid’s eyeballs, giving up on Saturday afternoons is corporate neglect. If teams don’t want to enter back-to-back contests in the early afternoon, the 4 p.m. window is still there.

Planning feeds the other good part of the Peacock deal. With streaming matches beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Sundays, it is impossible for teams to play Saturday nights in advance. And maybe those afternoon matches won’t get the same ratings, but they’ll be in front of the right eyes for the future of the game, just like the ones on Peacock the next day.

A home run of an idea

It’s unofficial, as a format should be decided by MLB and the Players Association, but have a tied All-Star Game decided by a home derbyrather than by a used car dealer throwing up his hands, is a no-brainer.

There’s still more to settle on the All-Star Game, which is either a rout or decided late by the reserves instead of the game’s best, but the All-Star Game is absolutely the place to try out gimmicks. The NBA has the Late Elam. The NHL will 3 against 3. It’s time to recognize that the Midsummer Classic needs to evolve into something more than the two leagues facing each other, when we’ve had interleague games for 25 years.

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