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Peacock to Air ‘Peacock Classic’ Men’s College Basketball Game Between Gonzaga, Baylor; Players to Be Paid via NIL Deals

Jeff Kotuby

The streaming sports landscape is continuing to change. Next month, Peacock will exclusively stream a collegiate basketball game, setting a precedent for the future of the sport while also allowing student-athletes to get a piece of the financial pie via NIL money.

The company announced this week that on Friday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. ET, the inaugural “Peacock Classic” men’s college basketball game between Baylor and Gonzaga will be presented live exclusively on the streamer. This is a rematch of the 2021 National Championship game in which the Bears defeated the Bulldogs 86-70 to capture their first NCAA men’s basketball national title.

“Presenting and sponsoring the first-ever ‘Peacock Classic’ is a historic moment for Peacock, providing fans with a must-see matchup featuring two of college basketball’s premier programs,” NBC Sports and Peacock Sports president of programming Rick Cordella said. “In conjunction with NBC Sports Athlete Direct, we’re excited to offer an innovative NIL opportunity that benefits Gonzaga and Baylor student-athletes.”

Student-athletes from the Baylor and Gonzaga men’s basketball teams will have the opportunity to partner with the event’s sponsors through name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals facilitated by NBC Sports Athlete Direct. This is the first time participating student-athletes will have the opportunity to partner with the sponsors of a game they are playing in and be paid the same rate. Each member of the Baylor and Gonzaga men’s basketball teams who opts into the campaign, and is eligible to participate via NBC Sports Athlete Direct, will promote the sponsors via their personal social media channels. Who knows, maybe we’ll see a Peacock-sponsored NIL athlete in the near future thanks to this deal.

“Our goal is to create the most visible platform for student-athletes and provide them the best opportunities to showcase their skills and build their brands,” president of Range Sports Will Funk said. “With this event, we want to play a key role in the evolution of collegiate athletics by ensuring that the student-athletes are given opportunities to monetize their name, image, and likeness.”

Basketball has been sorely missed from NBC’s airwaves ever since they lost the NBA rights back in 2002. In recent years, NBC has gotten basketball back, most recently agreeing to a massive rights deal with the Big Ten. Hopefully, we’ll get to hear “Roundball Rock” once more during the college basketball broadcasts and get that sweet serotonin flowing from our brains. We may also get to see a reunion between NBC and the NBA if Warner Bros. Discovery decides it really can live without basketball on its platform, something its CEO David Zaslav mentioned earlier this week.

Peacock

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 “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.

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