NEW YORK—FuboTV has inked a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group that will bring Bally Sports’ 19 regional sports networks (RSNs) to Fubo in the coming weeks.
The Bally Sports RSNs are owned and operated by Diamond Sports Group, a subsidiary of Sinclair. This agreement expands the existing partnership, which already includes the carriage of Sinclair’s owned local broadcast stations, Tennis Channel and Marquee Sports Network (television home of the Chicago Cubs), on Fubo TV.
The deal will allow cord cutters to access local sports on Sinclair’s RSNs without having to subscribe to traditional cable or satellite and will expand FuboTVs live sports footprint.
How much of an impact the deal will have on Sinclair’s struggling Diamond Sports Group RSNs remains to be seen. Since Sinclair acquired the Bally Sports RSNs from Disney and rebranded it as Diamond, the broadcaster has incurred more than $9 billion in debt as sports rights costs explode and subscribers continue to cut the cord. Sinclair reports that Diamond lost more than $1 billion in its most recent quarter and according to a report in the New York Post over the weekend, the division could face bankruptcy if MLB, NBA and NHL—which have expressed interest in acquiring Diamond—back out.
With this new agreement, FuboTV will provide subscribers with access to their respective local Bally Sports RSN(s), including: Bally Sports Arizona, Bally Sports Detroit, Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports Great Lakes, Bally Sports Indiana, Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports New Orleans, Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Oklahoma, Bally Sports San Diego, Bally Sports SoCal, Bally Sports South, Bally Sports Southeast, Bally Sports Southwest, Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports West and Bally Sports Wisconsin.
FuboTV, which currently has 1.2 million subscribers, will offer fans a new streaming option for Bally Sports RSNs as well as a leading choice for RSN coverage with a total of over 35 networks in its portfolio, and most available in its base channel package (Pro). Fubo’s sports offering includes more than 50,000 live sporting events annually, with many streaming in 4K, from RSNs, local broadcast networks and national sports networks ESPN, FS1, CBS Sports Network, the Pac-12 Networks and many more. In addition to sports, FuboTV also streams popular live entertainment and news programming and features more than 40,000 TV shows and movies on-demand each month.
“RSNs are integral to FuboTV’s sports-first content strategy and our mission to superserve local passionate sports fans,” said Henry Ahn, chief business officer, FuboTV. “We are very pleased to bring Fubo subscribers significant local sports coverage through our new partnership with Bally Sports, the nation’s leader in local sports rights. Sinclair has been a great partner and we’re pleased that we were able to work together well to get a deal done that is meaningful and beneficial for both sides. We’re looking forward to bringing the Bally Sports RSNs to Fubo subscribers in the coming weeks.”
“FuboTV has long been associated with connecting sports fans to their favorite teams and we are thrilled to be expanding our partnership to include the Bally Sports regional sports networks across their platform, providing Fubo’s subscribers with streaming access to their favorite hometown Bally Sports teams,” said Will Bell, SVP, head of distribution and network relations, Sinclair. “Fubo has been a great partner, and we are excited to continue to grow our relationship to serve our collective viewers.”
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Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.
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