Sinclair has just struck a deal that locks up the streaming rights to 16 of the NBA’s 30 teams, which is going to be a huge part of the new Bally Sports streaming service when it launches in 2022.
The deal is believed to be a short-term deal, and it could be as short as one year. These games would still be available on the Sinclair Bally Sports regional sports networks, and the streamed games would not be available nationally. This new NBA deal is pretty similar to what Sinclair reached with the NHL.
Bloomberg has also reported that Sinclair is closing in on $600 million in financing to help launch the service later this year.
Here are all the teams that are part of this deal: Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, LA Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, and the San Antonio Spurs.
These are mostly all the teams that were included in the Bally Sports RSN’s already.
When is this Bally Sports service launching, and for how much?
Sinclair had originally planned to launch the Bally Sports streaming service in the spring of 2022. But with the current MLB lockout, that may not happen. Spring isn’t far away and Sinclair still has a lot of questions to answer about its new service.
The biggest question being price. Which, Sinclair did float around a price of $23/month when it was looking to fundraise to launch this service. Since then, Sinclair’s CEO has denied that price. Sports aren’t cheap, especially when you are looking to host all of the major leagues on a single service. So don’t expect this service to cost the same as say Disney+, at $7-10 per month.
Another question is whether users will be able to watch out-of-market games on this service. The answer is likely no, which makes the higher price even tougher to swallow. Many believe that this service is going to fail – including yours truly, who wrote about it last year. And if Sinclair is charging $20+ per month to watch your local teams only, it’s tough to see it doing well.