Sinclair Broadcast Group‘s regional sports network unit Diamond Sports Group has signed a new deal with the National Basketball Association that gives its Bally Sports networks permission to offer streaming content including live games on an authenticated and direct-to-consumer basis.
The deal covers 16 NBA teams in their local territories.
For some reason Sinclair won’t explain, it won’t license its Phoenix Bally Sports channel to NextGen-based pay TV startup Evoca TV.
Evoca, a live TV service that delivers channels via ATSC 3.0 broadcast technology, says that Sinclair has refused to negotiate on carriage for its Bally Sports regional networks. For about the past year it has been trying to get Bally Sports Arizona so the Phoenix homes that watch over-the-air broadcast TV can watch their local professional sports teams. Bally Sports Arizona carries live games from the Phoenix Suns, the Arizona Mercury, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Arizona Coyotes.
The former president and general manager of NBC Sports Washington is tapped by Sinclair Broadcast Group to lead its Bally Sports West, Bally Sports SoCal and Bally Sports San Diego regional sports networks.
The sports channels still lack YouTube TV, Hulu, fuboTV carriage. Dish negotiations are expected in August.
One month after the 2021 Major League Baseball regular season threw out its first pitch, virtual multichannel video programming distributors YouTube TV, Hulu Plus Live TV and Fubo TV are still without Sinclair Broadcast Group’s regional sports networks, now rebranded as Bally Sports Networks. Pricing appears to be the reason for the decision to do without the channels, and apparently there has been little movement on either side regarding negotiations.