NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood realizes that game telecasts without announcers have been attempted a couple times, mostly without success. He is hoping the July 3 game between the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers on Peacock will reverse that trend.
Peacock will not have any announcers in the booth for its streaming coverage of the AL Central matchup from Detroit's Comerica Park. Instead, reporters will take fans around the ballpark and view the game from different vantage points.
“The whole idea of this is treating a game completely different. We're going to take you out to the ballpark,” said Flood, who is also the network's president of production. “We just want to be the ultimate fan's experience and spend it like anyone else. It's an American holiday celebration weekend. We're going to lean in and treat baseball like fans do.”
MLB Sunday Leadoff host and in-game reporter Ahmed Fareed — who grew up in Michigan — will be joined by Bally Sports Detroit analyst Craig Monroe and NBC Sports’ Britney Eurton.
Besides featuring fans in the stands, the broadcast could also include a conversation with a scout about what they are looking for during games. There will also be a focus on youth baseball and softball, including a Little League player announcing the lineups.
“One of our goals for the Peacock game has been to celebrate the game and the players and everything that makes the sport special. So for this game that kind of gives us an opportunity to celebrate everything that makes baseball special off the field,” Fareed said.
The matchup between Kansas City and Detroit — both under .500 — also gives Peacock a chance to be creative in a way it perhaps wouldn't with a game including the Mets, Yankees or Dodgers.
Peacock does not release streaming numbers for its MLB Sunday Leadoff package, but Fareed said players and fans have learned to adapt to games starting at 11:30 a.m. or noon Eastern.
“I do think that there’s something unique about an exclusive late morning or early afternoon game, because I think that window for sports, partly because of the Premier League and the big college football game, this past year has become a prime viewing time for sports,” he said. “If you got kids like I do, my day has been shifted more in the morning than at night."
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Joe Reedy, The Associated Press