Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Regional Sports

Yes, this the third day in a row I've written about streaming sports. But this isn't about watching hockey or basketball playoffs, but a more general sports topic.

Part of the reason I write about sports is that sports was one of the major concerns I had when I dropped cable. My concern was valid, as I had no access to ESPN via streaming from fall 2011 through 2014. In 2015, Sling TV launched and gave me the access to ESPN.

However, even now, in 2021, it's still not easy to get all the sports one wants. Regional sports networks are a prime source for many sports fans. Many of them, formerly part of the Fox Sports network, were sold off a couple of times, and now operate at Bally Sports.

Bally is looking to increase its regional sports footprint now. According to an article int he New York Post, Sinclair, which own Bally Sports, is bidding on the seven NBC regional sports networks:

If Sinclair succeeds in buying the RSNs, it would add dozens of popular National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball teams to its already vast collection of sports broadcast rights, including the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Capitals, Golden State Warriors, and San Francisco Giants.

Is this a good thing? I think so. I hope so. At least, in the short term. Right now, Bally is having trouble getting deals done with streaming services. Only AT&T TV, one of the most expensive live streaming services, carries the regional networks. While the NBC regional sports networks are few in number, the locations are huge and have large viewing audience potential. This will give Bally (Sinclair) more bargaining power.

What if Sinclair gets too big? Well, let's worry about the behemoth that is Disney and ESPN first, okay?

Will Bally be a solution for sports fans? Yes, it already is, for many. If the deal goes through, it just means it will be a solution for even more. For sports fans, it may be a service that make their Streaming Life easier.

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