In the age of cord-cutters, the rebranding of Fox Sports into Bally Sports has left American sports fans in quite a spot of bother. With a new MLB season ongoing, the recent changes to Fox Sports regional channels means that in order to watch the Cincinnati Reds in action this season, fans have to be subscribed to cable network or satellite service that offers Bally Sports.
So what has induced this change and where can avid Cincinnati Reds fans watch their team in action this season? Here’s all you need to know.
What is Bally Sports TV?
Bally Sports is a roster of 19 channels that once came under Fox Sports. This change is due in no small part to Disney handing over its Fox’s regional sports networks to the Sinclair Broadcast group two years back. The new owners, in partnership with Bally’s Corporation – a Rhode Island gaming company – have rebranded the whole roster of constituent networks, with Fox Sports Ohio now going by the Bally Sports Ohio name.
This rebranding isn’t supposed to be just a nominal affair; the Bally Sports overhaul is expected to be an upgrade to the Fox sports networks, providing extensive coverage of live MLB, NBA, and NHL games and events.
What happened to Fox Sports Ohio?
Although the Fox regional sports channels are now going under the Bally Sports banner, this change only affects U.S. audiences. The original Fox channel is still there and will provide for international sports coverage for both home and international viewers. But the rebranding may not have been welcomed by everyone, especially those who have recently moved away from cable TV.
Gonna take some time to get used to “Bally Sports Cincinnati” pic.twitter.com/My7qAB13FK
— John Lewis WDRB (@JohnWDRB) April 1, 2021
That said, the nature of the change is not only titular; though the content will be similar on Fox and Bally, the latter will cover more than just games and sporting events. This means that you can expect a more comprehensive coverage of all things related to regional sports, teams, and league games. The in-game gambling feature is another major upgrade. Live games will have a new statistic for punters and sports gamblers to refer to when placing bets – which can also be done through Bally Sports’s app.
How to watch Bally Sports Ohio?
Viewing options for Bally Sports Ohio are somewhat limited still. Currently, if you want to watch the Cincinnati Reds and the other MLB teams, you have to be subscribed to one of the traditional cable services.
Some of the major broadcast outlets for Bally Sports Ohio include the likes of Spectrum, DirectTV, and WOW! The Bally Sports networks will be available on most of their cable packages. Other than that, here’s a list of all the additional local cable providers (along with the channel numbers) that will give you access to Bally Sports Ohio.
Related: Is Bally Sports on YouTube TV?
Bally Sports Ohio Streaming
As of now, Bally Sports Ohio is available on only one streaming service – AT&T Now. Other streaming services such as fubloTV, Philo, Sling TV, and YouTube TV don’t currently offer Bally Sports networks. There are also no plans as of yet that any of these will stream Bally Sports any time in the near future. So, AT&T Now is your only streaming option and if you don’t want to get cable TV packages just for a few networks, this is your best bet.
What channel is the Bally Sports Cincinnati Reds game on today?
The launch of Bally Sports Ohio coincided with the opening of the new MLB season, but that was not purely coincidental. Bally Sports and the Sinclair broadcast group has gone all out to ensure a smooth handing over of the network baton from Fox to Bally Sports. On April 1st, Bally Sports took charge of the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals game and pre-game coverage.
With four games already in, the Cincinnati Reds will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in a home game on the 6th of April. Since Bally Sports is replacing Fox Sports regional networks, you can find it on the same channel as Fox Sports. If you have the Fox Sports channel in your pack, you shouldn’t have any problem finding Bally Sports.
A few games will be scheduled to broadcast on national cable sports networks. The rest will be available exclusively on Bally Sports.
Does Hulu have Fox Sports Ohio?
Unfortunately, Fox Sports Ohio (aka Bally Sports Ohio) is not available on Hulu right now. Ever since Disney-controlled Hulu+ Live TV dropped Fox Sports regionals in October last year, the Sinclair Broadcast Group hasn’t been able to restore the channels to the streaming service. There doesn’t seem to be any plans that Bally Sports Ohio will be available on such third-party streaming services anytime soon either.
Right now, cable networks and satellite services are your only option to catch the Cincinnati Reds (as well as other teams and league games) in action. The new Bally Sports App will also replace Fox Sports Go and is set to come out in the coming weeks. Fans will be able to stream on the app as well and even place bets on them. The name Bally wouldn’t have meant much if there weren’t any options to bet and wager on live games. But that will only be possible once the app makes its appearance. Until then, punters can make use of the new scoreboard statistic to place bets.
These are all the things that you need to know to watch the Cincinnati Reds in MLB this season. Sure, not everyone is happy about the rebranding, especially the cord cutters. But this is how things stand whether one likes it or not.