Bally Sports+, the direct-to-consumer regional sports networks streaming service from Sinclair Broadcast subsidiary Diamond Sports Group, officially launched Monday with Roku as a new distribution partner. The Bally Sports+ service had a soft launch in June, debuting in five regions. Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said in August that the company was “very pleased” at results so far, with early subscription volumes that were “better than we expected.”
Sinclair today has begun taking orders for its Bally Sports+ cord-cutter app in all 19 Bally markets with NBA and NHL teams. However, as expected, MLB teams are available in only five of those markets.
Seventy-four percent of those who sign up for a free seven-day trial of Bally Sports Plus end up with a paid subscription, and users of the DTC streaming service spend, on average, 33% more time on the platform than they do for the respective TV Everywhere platforms of the 19 Bally Sports regional sports network. Oh, and usage of Bally Sports Plus interactive features has been “better than expected.” Those were the early takeaways from the first quarterly earnings report for Diamond Sports Group, the wholly owned subsidiary that runs the Bally Sports channels, which was spun off from Sinclair Broadcast Group on March 1.
Capping a challenging multi-year development process, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s regional sports unit has set Sept. 26 as the nationwide launch date for direct-to-consumer streaming service Bally Sports+. At $19.99 a month or $189.99 a year, Bally Sports+ will be among the priciest streaming options in the marketplace, but the company expects many diehard sports fans lacking pay TV subscriptions to pony up to watch their local teams.
Bally Sports Plus will initially be available in five markets where the company’s Diamond Sports Group’s regional Bally Sports networks carry Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers and Tampa Bay Rays. The app will cost $19.99 a month, or $189.99 a year, and enable fans to watch games without subscribing to a multichannel pay TV cable, satellite or streaming service.
Sinclair Broadcast Group thinks it has found a cost-effective solution in conversion technology that can take standard-dynamic range (SDR) content and transform it to high-dynamic range (HDR) content in real-time, a technology it demonstrated at last month’s NAB Show.
The broadcaster makes a number of big moves ahead of the big DTC launch it says is happening “later this quarter.”
Bally Sports game productions will provide an enhanced digital signal using HDR for all games, which will roll out over the second half of 2022.
Bally Sports, a division of Sinclair Broadcast Group, today promoted Kendall Burgess to vice president of technical operations for the regional sports networks (RSNs). He will report to Mike Connelly, executive vice president, production, Bally Sports, and will oversee technical operations for live events and original programming across the company’s 19 RSNs. “Kendall has developed […]
Sinclair is working on a direct-to-consumer streaming service for its Bally Sports regional sports networks and it has disclosed to potential lenders how big it believes the opportunity could be. In an 8K filing with the SEC, Sinclair included a presentation outlining the potential upside of launching an RSN DTC service, which it predicted could eventually attract approximately 4.4 million subscribers and generate around $2 billion in annual revenue.
Sports wagering has invigorated station groups’ core revenue, climbing to the second-biggest ad sales category for many of them and angling to knock automotive from its top spot in the next few years. Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is preparing to rebrand its regional Fox Sports networks in the U.S. under the banner of Bally Sports, taking the name of casino operator Bally’s Corp. as sports media continues to establish closer ties with the gambling industry. The TV-station giant has begun a marketing campaign promoting the role the regional television networks play in delivering fans live games and other sports content about their local teams and players.
The Bally Sports regional logos will replace the existing Fox Sports regional logos when the networks officially rebrand in the coming months.