Peacock Will Carry NBC Regional Sports Networks in Select Markets in 2023
Maintaining access to regional sports networks (RSNs) has been an ongoing headache for cord-cutters. Fewer and fewer live TV streaming services carry RSNs, thanks to the high cost involved in securing sports broadcasting rights and the necessary limited range of these networks. NBCUniversal’s parent company Comcast is taking steps to mitigate those difficulties, indicating that its handful of RSNs will begin streaming on Peacock before the year is over, according to Bloomberg.
NBCU currently operates five RSNs: NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, and NBC Sports Philadelphia. However, contrary to the Bloomberg report, a spokesperson for Peacock told The Streamable that no date has yet been determined for the RSN streaming inclusion, nor is it likely to happen this year.
“We have been in discussions with partners and rights holders to make NBC Regional Sports Networks available on Peacock in 2023,” the spokesperson said. “We will have more details to share on specific markets, pricing and tiering as they become available.”
Although the company has yet to determine the details, Bloomberg reports that Peacock customers (presumably on the $9.99 ad-free Premium Plus plan) in these markets will reportedly be able to watch their RSNs at no extra cost. Similarly, NBC recently added the ability to watch local NBC affiliates for their Premium Plus subscribers.
NBCU has been mulling over streaming options for its RSNs for nearly a year. In February, it was reported that the company might launch another streaming service dedicated to its RSNs, but those plans never materialized. Now, users have more insight into the solution NBCU has landed on, but the future of RSNs still remains murky.
Unlike Bally Sports RSNs, NBC Sports RSNs are still carried by YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, and fuboTV –– but they were dropped by Sling TV earlier this year. NBC sold its NBC Sports Washington affiliate to Monumental Sports this Fall.
|DTV STREAM||Fubo||Hulu||Philo||Sling TV||YouTube|
|Free Trial||Free Trial||Sign Up||Free Trial||GET 50% OFF||Sign Up|
|NBC Sports Bay Area||≥ $99.99||•||•||-||-||-||•|
|NBC Sports Boston||≥ $99.99||•||•||-||-||-||•|
|NBC Sports California||≥ $99.99||•||•||-||-||-||•|
|NBC Sports Chicago||≥ $99.99||•||•||-||-||-||•|
|NBC Sports Philadelphia||-||•||•||-||-||-||•|
Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, noted in a conference on Thursday that teams are going to have to accept less money from media companies if they want to continue to be broadcast on RSNs.
“The ecosystem won’t support what we’re currently paying [for broadcast rights],” he said.
Other RSN providers have attempted to set up their own streaming services, as NBCU was thought to be attempting earlier this year. Bally Sports+ launched in September, with access to games from 16 NBA teams and 12 NHL teams. The service has the rights to just five MLB teams currently, highlighting the difference between what teams from different leagues think their rights are worth and what media companies can afford to pay.
The future of RSNs is looking increasingly bleak around the media landscape, but at least Comcast has an in-house solution. Because Peacock is already up and running, it can absorb NBC’s RSNs with relatively little friction, boosting its already impressive live sports offerings. Peacock’s expansive programming features live sports coverage including, “Sunday Night Football,” Spanish-language World Cup soccer broadcasts, the Premier League, Notre Dame Football, golf, horse racing, MLB Sunday Leadoff, INDYCAR, and much more.
Peacock is a subscription video streaming service from NBCUniversal that includes original shows, blockbuster movies, and classic television series. Peacock is home to “Yellowstone,” and “The Office,” as well as original hits like “Poker Face” and “Bel-Air.” You can also watch live sports including Sunday Night Football, Premier League, and exclusive MLB games. Peacock is also the exclusive home to many WWE events like WrestleMania. Premium Plus subscribers can stream their local NBC feed in all 210 markets.
Peacock includes news, entertainment, sports, late-night, and reality from various NBCU properties including NBC, Bravo, and E!.
Peacock also includes the entire library of Bravo shows and has exclusives like “Below Deck: Down Under.” They also include live and on-demand access to Hallmark channels.
The company has acquired the rights to many classic shows like “Parks and Recreation,” and the entire Dick Wolf library including “Law & Order” and “Chicago Fire.”
The service also features blockbusters and critically-acclaimed films from Universal Pictures, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Illumination and content acquired from Hollywood’s biggest studios.