MLB bolsters local market streaming with NBC Sports deal

The NBC Sports Group division of US media company NBCUniversal has agreed a deal with MLB Advanced Media, the interactive media and internet arm of North America’s Major League Baseball, to stream local market MLB games across its regional sports networks.

The length of the agreement was not disclosed, but it will commence with the 2017 regular season, with NBC Sports’ CSN RSNs also being provided with pre- and post-game shows.

CSN’s local streaming will allow authenticated viewers in their respective markets to live stream games and related programming that is carried by the pay-television provider of 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 new streaming offering is available at no additional cost to authenticated subscribers. The addition of MLB authenticated in-market streaming completes the local streaming portfolio for the NBC Sports regional networks, which also includes local live streaming from the NBA basketball league and NHL ice hockey competition.

The RSNs first introduced NBA streaming in 2014 and last year announced the addition of NHL in-market streaming, beginning with the 2016-17 season.

The NBC Sports Group partnership comes after Major League Baseball agreed a three-year deal with US network Fox in November 2015 to provide live in-market streaming of MLB games.

The agreement, which runs from 2016 to 2018, encompasses the 15 regional sports networks operated by the Fox Sports division of Fox. The teams that are being provided in-market streaming of games via computers and mobile devices under the Fox deal are: Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays.

The league had previously been working on in-market streaming for over six years.