Sinclair taking Bally Sports direct-to-consumer in 2022

Sinclair Broadcast Group announced during its quarterly earnings call plans to take Bally Sports direct-to-consumer in the first half of 2022.

Exact details have yet to be announced, including pricing, launch date or what platforms the regional sports networks offering will be available on.

Bally Sports is currently facing distribution struggles due to carriage fee disagreements with most OTT providers including YouTube TV, Hulu, Sling TV and Dish.

Sinclair CEO Steve Ripley confirmed during the call the networks have the “vast majority” of broadcast rights needed to go direct and that discussion with teams are ongoing. 

MLB, meanwhile, is encouraging local clubs to “embrace DTC streaming options.” 

Bally Sports is owned by Diamond Sports Group, a joint venture between Sinclair Broadcast Group and Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios. The channels officially launched in March 2021 after rebranding the former Fox Sports RSNs.

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In all, Bally Sports Regional Networks reaches about 52 million subscribers in its 19 regions. 

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