Sports fans will notice a new listing on their channel guide this spring. Gone are the Fox Sports regional networks, replaced by Bally Sports.
The 19 regional networks that were previously branded as “Fox Sports” are now called Bally, as in Bally Sports Detroit, and Bally Sports Ohio, and so on. The move is part of the deal that saw Sinclair Broadcast Group purchase the regional networks from Walt Disney Company for $10 billion in 2019.
What Does The Switch To Bally Sports Mean To Sports Fans?
In the short term, little will change. Sinclair actually purchased the regional networks in 2019, but requested 18 months to continue using the Fox Sports name while they prepared their transition. Launching a rebranding in April was a wise decision, because that month is the busiest for regional networks, with three sports (baseball, basketball, and hockey) in-season.
All 19 regional networks kept their basic on-air configurations, meaning they maintained much of their on-air talent and pre-game, post-game shows. Many fans will only see a change in logos and rebranding of in-game sponsored segments, and so on.
The acquisition of the sports networks is part of a larger strategy by Bally’s. By the end of 2021, Bally’s plans to own and operate 15 casinos in 11 states. The company is making a strong effort to be a major brand in the rapid growth and popularity of legalized sports betting and online sports betting.
“We want to create an experience that’s linked to the broadcast or to the stream because that’s where you really unlock the potential of a 360 degree kind of experience and you’re more engaged in the game,” Sinclair Chief Marketing Officer John Ziegler said in a press release.
The biggest immediate change will be a more cohesive experience between the broadcasts and the mobile apps. Bally has launched a new app that integrates the broadcast with useful information like betting lines in states with legalized online gaming and sports betting.
In the future, Bally’s plans to:
- Offer more original programming to support their sports broadcasts
- Expand pre and post-game shows
- Increase “breakaway” coverage of other games within their networks
Bally’s says that future iterations of their mobile apps will offer alternate camera angles of their broadcasts and the ability for users to watch streams simultaneously. So that a gambler in Michigan for example, might be able to stream the Tigers game as well as a Padres broadcast that they have money on.
The Bally Sports Regional Networks
|NETWORK||FORMERLY KNOWN AS||REGION|
|Bally Sports Arizona||Fox Sports Arizona||Arizona
|Bally Sports Detroit||Fox Sports Detroit||Michigan
|Bally Sports Florida||Fox Sports Florida||Florida|
|Bally Sports Great Lakes||Sports Time Ohio||Ohio
Southwestern New York
parts of Kentucky & West Virginia
|Bally Sports Indiana||Fox Sports Indiana||Indiana|
|Bally Sports Kansas City||Fox Sports Kansas City||Kansas City, Missouri
|Bally Sports Midwest||Fox Sports Midwest||Missouri
|Bally Sports New Orleans||Fox Sports New Orleans||Louisiana|
|Bally Sports North||Fox Sports North||Minnesota
|Bally Sports Ohio||Fox Sports Ohio||Ohio
Southwestern New York
Parts of West Virginia
|Bally Sports Oklahoma||Fox Sports Oklahoma||Oklahoma|
|Bally Sports San Diego||Fox Sports San Diego||San Diego|
|Bally Sports SoCal||Prime Ticket||Southern California
|Bally Sports South||Fox Sports South||Georgia
|Bally Sports Southeast||Fox Sports Southeast||Georgia
Western North Carolina
|Bally Sports Southwest||Fox Sports Southwest||Texas
parts of New Mexico
|Bally Sports Sun||Fox Sports Sun||Florida|
|Bally Sports West||Fox Sports West||Southern California
|Bally Sports Wisconsin||Fox Sports Wisconsin||Wisconsin
Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan