With the news that Sinclair Broadcast Group plans to launch a Bally’s sports app later this year, it looks like local sports streams could finally be going straight to consumers.
According to Streamable, Sinclair, owner of Bally’s Sports Networks, plans to launch a streaming service and has deals with sixteen NBA teams and twelve NHL teams. This means that sports fans will finally be able to ditch cable to stream their teams.
The report says Sinclair hopes to launch his service in time for MLB’s spring season, provided the current MLB lockdown doesn’t delay the start of the season. The site also reported on some of Sinclair’s projections for the new service.
“In its first full year of operating the service (2023), without adding additional crews to the service, the company expects $243 million in subscription revenue from 1.08 million subscribers. On average, this would mean a subscriber would pay $225 per year to access the Bally Sports app – or $18.75 per month,” the report states. That would be $32 per month, which is more than most streaming services, but far less than a bundle of cables.
However, the Streamable speculated that the price could actually be as low as $23 per month, a claim Sinclair denied.
Many customers stayed on traditional pay-TV services only to watch sports. Most local sports programming is broadcast on the Regional Sports Networks (RSN) through agreements with individual professional sports franchises. Even though cord-cutting has accelerated over the years, many sports fans have found themselves with few ways to watch their favorite teams without a cable subscription.
However, as streaming services have grown since the start of the pandemic, the cord cut has begun to impact RSNs. At the same time, the large debt Sinclair incurred to operate Bally’s networks led to speculation that their Diamond Sports Group could face bankruptcy.
Sinclair reached a deal last week to broadcast NBA games in local markets. With the company facing significant debt, they were lucky enough to be able to secure funding to launch the service.
“We are thrilled with our continued partnership with the NBA, which allows us to bring the league’s in-demand and exciting basketball content to local fans across multiple platforms,” Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said in a statement. communicated.
Stephen Silver, technology editor for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who also contributes to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and connect today. Co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.