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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Sinclair readies new sports video app, pushes on gamification

Sinclair Broadcast Group is nearing completion on a reconstructed new mobile application that will support its sports streaming efforts, particularly those from its portfolio of 21 regional sports networks, and broader gamification strategy, representing a key effort in the company’s stated goal to “make watching sports similar to playing a video game.”

The new streaming app, to replace the existing Fox Sports Go, will carry new Bally’s branding as part of Sinclair’s large-scale naming rights deal with the gaming operator for the RSNs that is reportedly worth $85m. The app is set to debut around the start of the Major League Baseball season in April.

More broadly, the new digital product will also represent a key touchpoint in Sinclair’s aggressive corporate strategy to infuse much more gamification and sports betting content into the overall sports viewing experience, in part through the Bally’s deal. Sinclair president Chris Ripley called the app no less than a “new paradigm for how viewers can watch and interact with major local sporting events.”

“The app will provide significant enhanced functionality and a new design that will be a key enabler for our initiatives around the gamification of sports viewing,” Ripley said. “Just to give you an idea of the improvement of the new app and its increased capabilities, when we initially launch, the first phase of the app will allow authenticated users the ability to watch games, with features like being able to rewind and view a replay, easily search for enhanced statistics and programming, including all the content that airs on our FSNS, as well as enjoy increased news coverage about the teams and games.

“Importantly, the new app will allow us to better monetize hundreds of millions of digital impressions that are currently not being fully optimized on the existing Fox Sports Go app. We expect the new app will be an important component in helping drive increased revenue growth and profitability for our local sports business in the future,” he said.

The app will also include a series of free-to-play contests, rewards, and features to engage with other fans.

“The idea is to make watching sports similar to playing a video game,” Ripley said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 24, 2021 at 10:11 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sinclair, television rights

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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 25, 2021 at 12:06 PM (#6006726)
F**k every single word of the lead in.

F**k Rob Manfred for getting in bed with the bookmaking rackets.

F**k MLB owners for letting and/or directing him to do it.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 25, 2021 at 12:11 PM (#6006731)
The only way to make this a good thing would be to crowd-source team decisions to the fans.

People who pay a fee get to vote on the starting lineup, pitching chances, etc. and the teams have to do it. Think of the cost savings in managers, coaches, analytics departments, etc!

People who pay a higher fee to be "Inner Circle" get to vote on trades.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 25, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#6006737)
So if I'm watching the Cubs, and I press the "B" button and hold down the left arrow, Hendricks will throw a changeup on the outside corner? That sounds kinda cool, actually.
   4. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 25, 2021 at 05:37 PM (#6006804)
Totally with snapper on this one. If MLB is intent on ruining the game, at least make it fun.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: February 25, 2021 at 10:19 PM (#6006824)
#2: then when a bunch of brokerage houses short the bets on Trout not starting that day, a bunch of Reddit guys can flood the app ensuring that he doesn't start.
   6. jmurph Posted: February 26, 2021 at 06:47 AM (#6006847)
Feels like they should maybe focus on cutting deals with carriers so that people can actually access the networks they paid a lot of money for?
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 26, 2021 at 09:38 AM (#6006864)

Feels like they should maybe focus on cutting deals with carriers so that people can actually access the networks they paid a lot of money for?


Sinclair’s, meanwhile, is also developing a direct-to-consumer streaming product that is expected to debut next year, and will allow unauthenticated users to access some content from the Bally’s RSNs. There is not yet, however, any specifics with regard to pricing or specific content availability for that planned over-the-top offering.

So is that why they aren't cutting deals with YoutubeTV, Hulu, and Sling?
   8. jmurph Posted: February 26, 2021 at 10:00 AM (#6006866)
Interesting, thanks for posting. I guess I'm a little suspicious of the "some content" wording until I see it.

But sure, throw another effing pay app on top of all the other ones I pay for, love to be a modern TV consumer!
   9. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 26, 2021 at 10:27 AM (#6006869)
F**k every single word of the lead in.

   10. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 26, 2021 at 01:00 PM (#6006891)
Baseball needs to be gamified because it's a business, and game is synonymous with wager? Is that about right?
   11. Bhaakon Posted: February 27, 2021 at 04:43 AM (#6006955)
No, for legal purposes "game" is synonymous with "skill-based."
   12. depletion Posted: February 27, 2021 at 12:59 PM (#6006974)
Sinclair is one of the more loathsome communications companies: a tough achievement no doubt. Go check their Wiki page. I plan on never buying what they're selling.
   13. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 27, 2021 at 01:25 PM (#6006976)
12 - agreed

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