Thursday, March 2, 2023

Regional Sports Network crisis could be good news for baseball fans

The unstable world of regional sports networks (RSNs) may have an upside for baseball fans.

How could there be any good news? Well, like often is the case, in unexpected ways.

The troubles that the various regional sports networks are facing these days could wind up with a lot of content no longer having a home. However, for some sports, there may be ways for them to respond in ways that are beneficial to streamers.

Major League Baseball could offer in-market games for 17 teams that would be impacted if Bally Sports Networks shut down, according to Cord Cutters News:

Now the MLB has added three executives to its local media departments as it prepares to take over local broadcasts for 17 teams. These executives, Kendall Burgess, Doug Johnson, and Greg Pannell, all have experience working as executives at RSNs.

"These new hires are an important step in our preparation to address the changing landscape of MLB game distribution in light of the increasing challenges and pressure facing regional sports networks," MLB chief revenue officer Noah Garden said in a statement.

The MLB is still hoping to find a partner to broadcast its games on traditional TV services but is also preparing for the reality that it may not happen this year. So the MLB is creating plans to offer streaming only versions of in-market games, likely through its MLB.TV service.

Being a baseball fan, and one that is eager to watch in-market games for my team (Atlanta Braves), this is a good opportunity. I hate the idea of many sports teams not having an outlet if the RSNs shut down. However, I like the idea of my favorite baseball team having an outlet they haven't had before. It will make my Streaming Life better.

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