from Sean Shapiro of The Athletic,
For fans — and teams for that matter — that have struggled with the fallout of Bally Sports’ regional networks and their carriage issues, some good news came this week.
The downside? It’s going to come at an additional cost for the consumer.
The Bally Sports RSNs, which are owned and operated by the Diamond Sports Group and a subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, own the regional broadcast rights for a dozen American NHL teams, including the Detroit Red Wings and Florida Panthers, who recently re-upped with Sinclair this season.
Because of carriage disputes, it’s not easy to find these channels if you don’t have DirecTV or Spectrum. Streaming services like YouTube TV and Sling used to carry the Bally RSNs, but have since dropped them, and Dish Network hasn’t carried the RSNs since 2019. When it comes to streaming games on a Bally RSN, the only option at this point is DirecTV Stream.
Out of both design and necessity, Diamond Sports Group has been angling to create its own direct-to-consumer solution, which it announced will be called Bally Sports+ on its quarterly call. The service is expected to have a soft launch this quarter and will come with an annual fee of $189.00 or $19.99 per month.