Updated April 1, 2021 - 2:28 pm
There was a time when the mere mention of sports betting could cause broadcasters to scramble for the dump button. Now, many teams will be airing live events on channels named for a gaming company.
The rebranding of the Fox Sports regional networks officially took hold this week as the 19 Bally Sports networks were unveiled. While it was announced in January, the switch became official this week to coincide with the start of baseball season.
Those 19 networks hold the rights to 42 professional teams, including 16 in the NBA, 14 in Major League Baseball and 12 in the NHL.
Sinclair Broadcasting acquired all the Fox Sports regional networks for $10 billion in 2019 and sold the naming rights to Bally, the casino operator, for $88 million over 10 years.
As part of the streamlining of the operation, two limited regional networks have been folded with their programming moved elsewhere.
Fox Sports Carolinas and Fox Sports Tennessee, which carried Hurricanes and Predators hockey games, will not survive the changeover. Those games will now air on Bally Sports South and Bally Sports Southeast.
What does it mean for Las Vegas viewers watching Padres, Angels, Diamondbacks or Clippers games? Fox Sports San Diego is now Bally Sports San Diego; Fox Sports Prime Ticket is Bally Sports Prime Ticket; and Fox Sports Arizona is Bally Sports Arizona. All are the same channels.
However, not all of those networks will be available through the same platforms they have in the past. That number has been dwindling as more and more streaming services opt out of carrying the channels because of rising rates.
For instance, Bally doesn’t not have a carriage deal with Hulu, fuboTV, Sling TV and Dish Network — so Fox Sports networks that were there earlier this week are gone today.
Fox Sports Go will also become Bally Sports, with the app giving subscribers the opportunity to view games on mobile devices. Sinclair has plans for the app to also include alternative camera angles and eventually integrate live betting options and gambling info.