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Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Sinclair announces Bally Sports+ OTT service price, continues with plan of Q2 soft launch and full fall launch

Well, after initial discussions of a “first half of 2022″ launch, Sinclair announced in February they’re planning for a Q2 soft launch (their Q2 runs April-June, so that’s coming quickly), with a full launch in the fall ahead of the next NBA and NHL seasons. And on their first-quarter earnings call Wednesday, they continued on with that timeline, but also revealed their current pricing plans. Here’s more on that (and on the wider company context) from Matt Tamanini of The Streamable:

The company announced that the plan was still to have a soft launch of the streamer this quarter and that it will cost $189.99 annually or $19.99 per month. Later during the company’s earnings call, CEO Chris Ripley referred to the upcoming service as “Bally Sports+.”

On Tuesday, Ripley said that the streaming service would launch with “an attractive price point as compared to other similar professional sports DTC offerings.”

Of course, the big issue still is markets and rights, especially in baseball (they’ve gained full NHL and NBA rights, but the latter at least are coming on a year-to-year basis). Sinclair’s owned-and-operated Bally Sports RSNs carry 14 MLB teams (not counting the Chicago Cubs, who are on Sinclair-owned Marquee but have a separate streaming approach there, and not counting the Yankees, who are on YES, where Sinclair only has a minority stake), but only five of those 14 have signed on for DTC streaming rights. That’s a problem considering the importance of MLB (and its 162 games a season) to the general RSN model. But maybe that “constructive dialogue” leads to more MLB teams coming on board, and maybe teams see this rollout go well and want in. At any rate, it makes sense that they’re only soft-launching in Q2 given their minimal MLB availability (and this soft launch will reportedly be focused on the five markets where they do have MLB rights), with the larger launch coming in the fall around their wider NBA and NHL rights.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2022 at 02:27 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bally sports, streaming rights

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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 04, 2022 at 02:53 PM (#6075181)
My sincere hopes that the launch of BS+ is just as successful as the launch of CNN+.

And, on general principle, #### Sinclair and #### that ####ing ####head Chris Ripley too.
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2022 at 02:56 PM (#6075183)
I agree with the sentiment of #### Sinclair, but I want this to work because I'm paying $80/mo for Directv pretty much only for Royals games, so this would save me a lot of money.
   3. pthomas Posted: May 04, 2022 at 05:19 PM (#6075198)
Can I place a bet on Bally's on whether or not this will work? I'm taking the under.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: May 04, 2022 at 05:38 PM (#6075199)
If you're a 3-sport fan in one of the covered MLB markets, this seems like a reasonable deal to me. MLBtv now offers a single team package (as long as it's out of market) for $120 or the full package for $140. If Sinclair can deliver your local team for $120 (their $20/month price) and then NBA, NHL, regional college sports for another $70 per year over the MLBtv price ... how much cheaper do folks think that should be?

If you wanted free televised baseball, you shoulda dialled 588-2300 more often.

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