Michael Schneider Named COO, GM for Bally Sports Direct-to-Consumer Business

Michael Schneider Bally Sports Sinclair
Michael Schneider (Image credit: Sinclair Broadcast Group)

Michael Schneider was named chief operating officer and general manager of the Bally Sports direct-to-consumer business by Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Diamond Sports Group.

Schneider most recently was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu.

Sinclair plans to launch its direct-to-consumer business (Bally Sports Plus) in the next month or so, starting in five markets where it has the TV rights to the local Major League Baseball team. The launch is designed to supplement Diamond’s regional sports network business, which is under pressure from rising sports rights costs, cord cutting reducing the number of cable subscribers, and the debt incurred when Sinclair bought the Fox RSNs from Disney for about $9 billion.

“Throughout his career, Michael has successfully launched and developed DTC streaming and service platforms and created immersive engagement experiences,” said Rob Weisbord, COO and president of broadcast for Sinclair. “He is a terrific addition to the team as we build out the Bally Sports+ offering, its exclusive content and passionate fan community.” 

At Hulu, Schneider helped launch Hulu + Live TV, one of the leading virtual MVPDs, by marketing the amount of live sports available on the platform.  

Also: Sinclair Taps Randy Freer as Diamond Sports Group Board Chair, Secures $635 Million for New Bally Sports DTC Venture

Prior to joining Hulu, Schneider was a founding member of the PlayStation Vue launch team, leading customer marketing and strategy. He has also held multiple senior marketing roles at Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable, where he led customer engagement and loyalty initiatives.

“Local sports fans are in need more than ever of a viewing experience where they can stream and get closer to their favorite teams in more direct, interactive and meaningful ways,” said Schneider. “I'm excited to lead the Bally Sports DTC team as I believe our platform is the best positioned to push the industry forward and redefine local sports for the fans of today and tomorrow.”  ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.