Even though sports has taken a massive hit thanks to coronavirus, it’s business as usual for big corporations. Deals worth billions were being executed regardless of the onset of a pandemic because it was important to bring in the profit. The assumption was that teams would get back on track eventually and even if stadiums weren’t occupied, people would be willing to tune in to their preferred games or watch their favorite teams on screen from the safety of their homes. It would not matter too much whether it’s Fox or Bally, sports is sports.
Now that it’s baseball season, as people tune in to catch live matches, they will certainly be bombarded by the Bally red, which raises a few questions, one of which, is who owns the Bally Sports network? So here’s what you need to know.
Who owns the Bally Sports network?
Fans are certainly a bit disgruntled to see a new scoreboard on their TV screens and the Bally insignia is present in every place that can accommodate the logo or branding. It’s important to understand this rebranding process was not done on a whim, but rather the result of a convoluted business deal between big corporations, you can read all about it here.
In a nutshell, The Walt Disney Corporation had to sell the Fox Regional Sports network in order to avoid an antitrust violation. In order to get approval from the Department of Justice for its acquisition of other Fox Regional Sports properties including films as well as satellite and cable content, Disney sold the 19 Fox regional sports channels to Sinclair Broadcast Group for $10 billion.
Who is Sinclair Broadcast Group?
Sinclair Broadcast Group is a broadcast television company that was founded in 1986 and owns content resources on different distribution platforms which include Television, Radio, Digital, and Cable. The company currently owns and operates 294 television stations across the United State in territories that range from Washington, D.C. to Ottumwa, Iowa–Kirksville and Missouri.
While Sinclair does own all the television stations it runs, there are some channels for which the company enters into shared service agreements. In the case of Fox’s RSN that Sinclair acquired from Disney, it felt the crucial need to enter into a partnership with Bally’s Corporation.
Who is Bally’s Corporation?
Speaking of major deals between multi-billion corporations, Sinclair entered into one with Bally’s Corporation to acquire the naming rights of the company for a period of 10 years. But there is a deeper reason behind this deal and it has more to do with who Bally’s Corporation is and what it does.
Bally’s Corporation owns a dozen casinos and has 13 OTB licenses in Colorado. Bally’s also has a partnership with Elite Casino Resorts that gives it a wagering permit to conduct online sports betting in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Besides the fact that Bally’s is rolling in wealth, it had the required permission to allow sports betting online and Sinclair needed this aspect from Bally’s Corporation. So Bally, in a 10-year deal naming rights deal that cost them $88 million, became the face of what used to be Fox Regional Sports Channels.
Do Sinclair Broadcast Group and Bally’s Corporation both own Bally Sports?
No, the ownership of Bally Sports is with Sinclair Broadcast Group. After the partnership ends in 10 years, Sinclair can choose to continue the collaboration with Bally Sports or move on to greener pastures if any are available. The naming rights deal was necessary in the first place because Sinclair could only use the Fox name for 18 months as part of its deal with Disney. Sinclair turned it into an opportunity by bringing in the sports betting element and using Bally to do it.
We hope you found this article helpful. Do let us know in the comments in case of queries. Take care and stay safe!