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The Latest With Sinclair Broadcasting

from Michael King of The Streamable,

Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley said during the company’s 2Q 2021 Earnings Call on Wednesday that the company remains committed to launching a direct-to-consumer Bally Sports App in the first half of 2022, but they have another streaming deal to worry about.

Ripley said streaming rights for the NBA and NHL on the Bally RSNs were up for renewal in the coming months. These are to continue offering TV Everywhere access via the Bally Sports App.

Despite this, he was confident of Sinclair’s position, pointing out that they are the only bidder in place for the digital rights for the two leagues.

“You know we are the only buyer for those, you know, there is no one else they can be sold to,” Ripley said. “So, we have a relatively good position.”

Ripley wouldn’t go into detail regarding specifics surrounding the negotiations, other than to say that negotiations were “productive.”

“We’re having productive conversations and negotiations … at this point, the existence of a deadline, being the next season, we think will be a helpful forcing factor to finish those drive them to the finish line,” he said. “I would point back to my comments around what goes into the dynamics of a negotiation around market competition and comparables and you know it as it relates to the digital rights.”


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, | KK Hockey | Permalink


RedMenace's avatar

Having previously worked for Sinclair, I wish literally almost any other company had the regional NHL rights.

Posted by RedMenace from A Tormented Hellscape on 08/04/21 at 01:29 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic,

Could some NBA, NHL and MLB games next year be served up akin to a Las Vegas sportsbook screen, with changing odds and heavy gamblers comped the subscription to the service?

That is the vision at least outlined Wednesday by Chris Ripley, CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose Bally Sports Regional Networks are negotiating with those leagues to obtain streaming rights for a planned direct-to-consumer (DTC) launch next year. Ripley told investors on an earnings call Wednesday morning the service would be “like in-game betting but on steroids.” Sinclair’s RSNs currently broadcast 42 teams: 14 in MLB, 16 in the NBA and 12 NHL teams.

“For a person who is heavily engaged in sports betting, I envision a significant amount of income coming from watch-and-play, which is the gamification, real-time gamification of a sporting event, where they can play it like a video game,” Ripley said. “They can be having at risk at … money on the line, positions that are changing … every 10 to 20 seconds, based on their actions.

“And, actually, the first we’re working on that experience with Ballys, first up in tennis, tennis, you know, is … set up very, very well to do that. But we’re going to move that same philosophy through MLB, NBA, NHL too, and … we think that ends up being a very significant revenue driver, not only for this enterprise, but we also see a world that you alluded to where people engaged in that type of activity will get subsidized or comped subscriptions from the sportsbooks.”

continued ($$$)

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 08/04/21 at 02:58 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 08/04/21 at 02:58 PM ET

Well that just sounds predatory, at best.

You stay classy, Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Posted by RedMenace from A Tormented Hellscape on 08/04/21 at 03:58 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I hate the direction sports are going with all the betting. It’s not just Sinclair or the NHL - it’s a sports thing now.

I tune into games to watch the games, not think about odds or spreads or try to bet money.

Posted by TreKronor on 08/04/21 at 10:10 PM ET


I’m fine with adults being able to gamble on sports but this is just force-feeding at this point. I sure hope they have plans for a non-degenerate broadcast for those that don’t want to see real-time gambling odds displayed as prominently as the clock and score.

Posted by MZ2215 on 08/05/21 at 07:50 AM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

The NHL should have taken a stance against this integrated gambling setup but its too late now. All the money will make it impossible for the owners to find another network to pay more money to carry the games and it will be forever tainted.

Sinclair is garbage as far as I am concerned.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 08/05/21 at 09:43 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

The NHL should have taken a stance against this integrated gambling setup but its too late now.

I would imagine there are some cash incentives for the league with all of this.  I don’t know where the partnerships overlap, but I would bet money (oh hey that’s funny) the NHL benefits from betting.

Posted by TreKronor on 08/05/21 at 10:09 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Sounds like I won’t be watching any Wings for the forseeable future still then.

Until the rights go to someone else, I can’t and won’t do anything that helps Sinclair or Ballys.

Sinclair delenda est.

Posted by Primis on 08/05/21 at 10:17 AM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

the NHL benefits from betting.

Never directly… they would never leave a paper trail.

However each team with a one dollar parlay can win 100 dollars if their team wins a game. :(

gotta make it rain!..... tears of an empty bank account

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 08/05/21 at 11:48 AM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Gamblings’ deep reach into sports sadly has come out of the closet. It opens up the coffer for greed to dictate the game even more now and without shame. I am not as worried about the players gambling against a game but the refs and their higher ups.

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 08/05/21 at 12:21 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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