Saturday, May 21, 2022

Bally Sports still on target for June

I've been a Braves fan for years. The way I, and many other Braves fans my age, were able to follow the Braves was on radio. But the Braves ended up on TV with WTBS (later just TBS) and that eventually became the primary way I followed.

Over the last few years, though, it's been harder to follow the Braves on TV. Cutting the cord certainly put a crimp in it, and the Braves going from a single TV source (WTBS) to multiple (regional sports networks) made it more and more difficult.

With MLB TV being around for a couple of decades, you'd think it would be easy enough to watch them on a streaming device. You'd think wrong.

Blackout rules mean I cannot watch the Braves live. And unless I want to pay the big bucks for a streaming package with regional sports -- I don't -- then I'm not able to watch them streaming. At least, most of the time.

When they show up on Peacock, or one of the broadcast networks such as Fox, I'm able to watch the games. Otherwise, unless I subscribe to a large expensive streaming service, I'm out of luck. And like I said, I'm not going to pay that kind of money.

However, there is hope on the horizon. Bally Sports, who owns a bunch of regional networks, is launching its own service and app next month. And Bally is negotiating contracts with teams to begin streaming their games. The catch is, if you're in market, you can watch the games. For example, if they carried the Braves, since I'm in market -- the reason I can't use MLB TV to follow them -- I would be able to watch on Bally Sports.

Here's the catch. They have contracts with five teams so far, and none of those five are the Braves. But, for fans of the Tigers, Royals, Marlins, Rays, and Brewers, you're in luck. You'll be able to watch in-market games for those teams.

If you don't live in those markets, you won't be able to get those teams. But you could get MLB TV, so there is, and has been, a way for fans in that situation.

My situation won't be changing next month. No Braves. Yet. But, I'm holding out hope that the service launch is successful, and that they'll expand to cover my Braves. I'd like to finally get their games into my Streaming Life.

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