Numerous MLB Teams Lose Bally Sports Regional Networks

Fans of more than a third of the MLB teams were shut out on Wednesday when their Bally Sports regional broadcast networks were removed from Comcast cable channel lineups.

Bally Sports’ parent company, Diamond Sports Group, has been unable to arrive at a deal with Comcast to keep their broadcasts on air.

As a result, fans in 11 markets can no longer watch their local baseball team via their Comcast cable package. The teams impacted are the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, and St. Louis Cardinals.

For many of the markets, if a deal is not struck between Diamond Sports Group and Comcast, future programming for NBA and NHL games could be in jeopardy.

Most MLB games can be accessed via the Bally Sports Plus app, which can be loaded onto smart TVs, web browsers, or mobile devices. Some markets can also be served by DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, FuboTV, AT&T U-Verse, and Spectrum, which have deals in place to include Bally Sports regional networks in their lineups.

According to reporting by CBS Sports, negotiations stalled last week when Comcast rejected a proposal from Diamond Sports Group.

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Bankruptcy Hampers Diamond Sports Group’s Efforts to Restructure RSNs

At one time, Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) were the primary way fans watched their favorite teams in MLB, NBA, and the NHL. But, in the last 10-15 years, with advances in streaming technology, many consumers have left their cable subscriptions behind, in what has been called “cutting the cord.” The exodus has placed RSNs in peril, as millions of cable subscribers have stopped paying monthly fees.

Diamond Sports Group filed bankruptcy in March of 2023, and for more than 12 months, they’ve been trying to restructure their business to salvage RSNs, which are branded under the Bally name. Last April, the first domino fell when San Diego Padres games were taken off the air. MLB stepped up to find a solution for fans, but the danger is still there: fans in several states could be searching for a new channel to cheer on their local team.

For fans who live in a state away from their favorite team (snowbirds in Florida who root for a midwestern team like the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers, for example), they can turn to MLB streaming packages, but in-state fans will need to find another carrier. That’s unless Comcast and DSG arrive at an accord.

“We’d like to continue carrying their networks,” Comcast said in a written statement. “But [Diamond Sports Group and Bally Sports] have declined multiple offers and now we no longer have the rights to this programming,” Comcast says it will issue a refund of between 8-10$ per month to subscribers for the loss of the RSN.

Sports bettors who need a way to watch local games will be forced to utilize one of the alternative methods, The Bally Sports Plus app is available at Google Play and Apple App Store and costs $19.99 per month. In many markets, Bally Sports Plus provides games for baseball, hockey, and basketball.


About the Author
Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes

Writer and Contributor
Dan Holmes is a veteran writer and contributor for Gaming Today. He has written three books, including The Ballplayers: Baseball’s Greatest Players Remembered, Ranked, and Revealed, which will be released in 2024. Holmes has previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball.

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