Sinclair's Bally Sports Networks Gain Carriage On FuboTV

Bally's Sports RSNs
(Image credit: Sinclair Broadcast Group)

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s struggling Bally Sports Networks got a boost with a carriage deal with FuboTV.

Sports oriented streaming TV service FuboTV will carry the 19 Bally Sports regional sports networks, giving fans without a traditional cable subscription another way to access those networks and watch their local teams’ games.

FuboTV had previously carried Sinclair’s Tennis Channel and the Marquee Sports Network, a joint venture of Sinclair and the Cubs.

“RSNs are integral to FuboTV’s sports-first content strategy and our mission to superserve local passionate sports fans,” said Henry Ahn, chief business officer, FuboTV. “We are very pleased to bring Fubo subscribers significant local sports coverage through our new partnership with Bally Sports, the nation’s leader in local sports rights. Sinclair has been a great partner and we’re pleased that we were able to work together well to get a deal done that is meaningful and beneficial for both sides. We’re looking forward to bringing the Bally Sports RSNs to Fubo subscribers in the coming weeks.”

Buying the regional sports networks saddled Sinclair with $9 billion in debt. Since then they’ve been under pressure as cord-cutting reduced distribution and advertising revenues and the costs for sports rights continued to rise.

Diamond Sports Group, the Sinclair unit that runs the RSNs, reported a $1.124 billion loss in the third quarter. It also cut its guidance for 2022 EBITDA in half.

Also: David Preschlack Named CEO At Sinclair's Diamond Sports Group

To help its RSNs, Sinclair launched Bally Sports Plus, a direct-to-consumer app that allows non-cable subscribers to stream games. 

In the third quarter, FuboTV said it had 1.231 million subscribers. The company took a $35 million charge against earnings resulting from its decision to get out of the sports-betting business.

“FuboTV has long been associated with connecting sports fans to their favorite teams and we are thrilled to be expanding our partnership to include the Bally Sports regional sports networks across their platform, providing Fubo’s subscribers with streaming access to their favorite hometown Bally Sports teams,” said Will Bell, senior VP, head of distribution and network relations, Sinclair. “Fubo has been a great partner, and we are excited to continue to grow our relationship to serve our collective viewers.” ■

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.