Sinclair has announced a major distribution deal on the No. 1 connected TV platform in North America, Roku, on the day of the national launch for its Bally Sports Plus subscription streaming service.
The direct-to-consumer service offers live-stream access to the regions covered by the 19 Bally Sports-branded regional sports networks. Roku users without a cable or satellite TV subscription can stream their local Bally Sports RSN on their Roku device for $19.99 a month.
Sinclair test launched the service back in June in five markets for which it has streaming rights to Major League Baseball teams within the Bally Sports portfolio, but that iteration was limited, in terms of connected TV support, to Amazon Fire TV and Android TV devices. (Bally Sports Plus is supported for iOS and Android mobile.)
“Our regional sports audiences include some of the most loyal viewers, and we are excited to expand our reach as we officially launch Bally Sports Plus, offering fans even more ways to watch their hometown teams,” said Michael Schneider, COO and GM, Bally Sports Plus.
Bally Sports Plus represents one of the more notable recent defections from the pay TV bundle. Subscribers can access the channel for $19.99 a month without paying for a pay TV plan.
Bally Sports is timing the national launch ahead of the upcoming NBA and NHL seasons. Since Sinclair has national streaming rights deals with the pro basketball and hockey leagues, it can stream all eligible games for each NBA and NHL team contracted under its RSN rights umbrella.
It gets trickier with Major League Baseball. Currently, Sinclair has DTC/streaming rights deals with only five MLB teams in the Bally Sports portfolio.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!