People who don't have cable now have a way to watch regional sports television coverage. Sinclair Broadcast Group's Bally Sports regional networks have reached a carriage deal with FuboTV, as mentioned by Deadline. The deal with see 19 regional sports networks added to Fubo's lineup in the next few weeks. FuboTV launched in 2015 and has 1.2 million subscribers.
It took time to land this deal as FuboTV pushed back on Sinclair's aggressive terms. Sinclair purchased the regional sports networks from Fox for $10.6 billion in an action prompted by the Disney-Fox deal. Regional sports networks were established in the 1990s when cable subscriptions were at their peak. But recently, the networks have been on the decline due to cord-cutting and the decline of linear viewership. Bally recently launched a streaming outlet called Bally Sports+ which gives fans access to their hometown teams.
"RSNs are integral to FuboTV's sports-first content strategy and our mission to superserve local passionate sports fans," Henry Ahn, chief business officer, FuboTV, said in a statement. "We are very pleased to bring Fubo subscribers significant local sports coverage through our new partnership with Bally Sports, the nation's leader in local sports rights. Sinclair has been a great partner and we're pleased that we were able to work together well to get a deal done that is meaningful and beneficial for both sides."
Bally Sports is known for airing NBA, NHL and MLB games. The networks under the Bally Sports umbrella include Bally Sports Arizona, Bally Sports Detroit, Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports Great Lakes, Bally Sports Indiana, Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports New Orleans, Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Oklahoma, Bally Sports San Diego, Bally Sports SoCal, Bally Sports South, Bally Sports Southeast, Bally Sports Southwest, Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports West and Bally Sports Wisconsin.
"FuboTV has long been associated with connecting sports fans to their favorite teams and we are thrilled to be expanding our partnership to include the Bally Sports regional sports networks across their platform, providing Fubo's subscribers with streaming access to their favorite hometown Bally Sports teams," Will Bell, SVP, head of distribution and network relations, Sinclair, said in a statement. "Fubo has been a great partner, and we are excited to continue to grow our relationship to serve our collective viewers."