Cord cutters who are fans of five MLB teams — the Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Rays, Milwaukee Brewers, Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers — will soon be able to stream their team’s games without cable thanks to Sinclair’s Bally Sports, but not as soon as originally expected.
the Kansas City Star confirmed reports that the Royals would be the benefactors of a dedicated Bally Sports streaming service, but that it wouldn’t be available until the summer as fewer providers stream the team’s local games shown on Bally Sports Kansas City. The Royals will join the Marlins, Brewers, Rays and Tigers on this new service.
This report comes nearly a week after rumors that another MLB franchise, the Chicago Cubs, were exploring a potential DTC streaming option by also partnering with Sinclair. According to a report Per the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs and Sinclair Broadcasting Group, the team’s current Regional Sports Network (RSN) broadcast partner, are in talks to launch a Cubs-themed direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming service , allowing Cubs fans to watch their team without a cable or satellite subscription in 2023.
Sinclair previously announced plans to soft-launch its DTC sports streamer this spring, but even with MLB’s opening day, this report says it won’t hit the market until mid-season.
Granted, Sinclair only owns the rights to those five MLB clubs, so trying to build a nationwide service around a few regional teams might not be the best idea. We discussed the concept that Sinclair should instead build around his largest library of NBA broadcast rights, which includes the Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, and Dallas Mavericks, among others.
Currently, the only live TV streaming service that broadcasts Bally Sports Kansas City is DIRECTV STREAM, a recurring theme for Bally Sports networks across the country. YouTube TV dropped many Sinclair-owned RSNs in 2020, leaving only NBC and SNY branded networks. You can see which RSNs are available in your area below, but – spoiler alert – your streaming options are mostly DIRECTV STREAM and fuboTV, with a sprinkling of Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV.