Sinclair Broadcasting Group this morning announced its quarterly profits for the first three months of 2021 for the period ending March 31, 2021. During the conference call, the company provided an update on important information for cord cutters in regarding the future of direct-to-consumer selling options and RSN Bally Sports, and RSN Bally Sports.
The future of RSNs and Bally Sports streaming services
Bally Sports’ RSNs are made up of 21 regionally owned and operated networks that broadcast a total of 46 teams across the MLB, NBA and NHL. The only streaming option that currently offers RSN Bally Sports is AT&T TV. Other popular streaming providers such as YouTube TV, Sling TV, and Hulu with Live TV have stopped offering RSN Bally Sports on several occasions over the past three years due to the inability to reach a deal with Sinclair on them. transport costs.
When asked if RSNs would return to popular streaming providers during this morning’s conference call, Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley remained coy and said he had “no comment on the status of discussions on distributors “and that” time will tell if these distributors will return. “
With young people cutting the cord in droves, it would be advantageous for Sinclair to find a way to make their RSN Bally Sports more widely available on streaming platforms. If the deals can’t be made, a streaming subscription platform would be the next best step.
The Bally Sports RSN Direct-to-Consumer app is in the works
There may not be a timeline for the return of RSNs to streaming providers; however, Sinclair is working on a direct-to-consumer app that allows subscribers to view their RSNs. There aren’t many details on the app’s future in terms of pricing or the exact release date, but Ripley said they “were in discussions with leagues and teams to improve some. of these rights in order to further improve the product “. He went on to say, âThat’s what’s going on right now and I don’t see it as a threat to the timing. The launch is scheduled for the first half of 2022. â
There appear to be some positive collaborations behind the scenes as Sinclair works with leagues, most teams, and traditional cable and satellite providers to get their DTC application ready according to their assigned H1 2022 goal. teams want to make programming as accessible as possible, which unfortunately isn’t ideal today, âsaid Ripley. If there is no delay, when Sinclair’s Bally DTC app launches in the first half of 2022, it will be a game-changer when it comes to how we broadcast sports live.
The Bally Sports DTC app will include the functionality of the current authenticator app. Fans will enjoy Bally’s recording, news, stats, lineup, sports betting and more.
What we now know about the future of the Bally Sports app
At the end of 2020, Sinclair had about 52 million RSN subscribers; At the end of the first quarter of 2021, their total consolidated revenue is down 6% from what they were in the first quarter of 2020. Sinclair will need to find ways to increase revenue from their lack of availability on streaming distributors popular, future direct -consumption options and updates to the Bally Sports app.
A future update to the Bally Sports app will include gamification which could help increase the company’s revenue. Combined with Bally’s plan to allow in-app sports betting, this will put the game directly in the hands of the consumer. The Bally Sports app will seek to include new technology in future versions of the app. During today’s call, Ripley acknowledged that the company is changing its digital interactive business strategies by using its app platform to “move into other opportunities like sports betting … like NFT, (with) the opportunity to socialize, we’re excited about what that means. ”
Sports fans should be excited for the first half of 2022 as it looks like most of the teams will be available to stream again. If Sinclair is successful with its expansion of the Bally Sports app and direct-to-consumer options, then its big bet will finally pay off.