Sinclair Broadcasting is reportedly addressing its financial woes by selling naming rights to the 21 Fox Sports networks it obtained from Disney to Bally’s Corp., creating the Bally Sports network.
The New York Post is reporting that Bally’s Corp. is paying Sinclair Broadcasting $85 million over the next 10 years for the branding change to the 21 regional sports networks (RSNs). Earlier this month Sinclair Broadcasting wrote down the value of the 21 RSNs by $4.23 billion, or about half of what was paid to Disney — $9.6 billion in August 2019 — for the former Fox Sports RSNs acquired as part of Disney’s larger acquisitions of Fox media assets. Many of those assets were rolled into Disney’s streaming services, including Hulu and Disney+.
It should be noted that Bally’s Corp. referenced here–the former Twin River Worldwide Holdings–owns Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino, purchased today from Caesars Entertainment and Vici Properties, Inc. (Bally’s Las Vegas will remain under Caesars Entertainment ownership.) Bally’s also received three sports betting and five iGaming skins in New Jersey as part of the $25-million purchase, and has a plan to open a sportsbook at the New Jersey hosted by FanDuel. If other transactions close, Bally’s will own and manage 14 casinos across 10 states.
The new Bally Sports controls rights to 16 MLB teams, 17 NBA teams and 12 NHL teams. The deal between Sinclair and Bally’s Corp. pretty much bets the future of the pair on sports betting: Bally’s Corp. is also buying sports-betting software company Bet.Works, while Sinclair will receive a 15 percent stake in Bally’s Corp.–a stake that could grow if performance goals are met. So expect your game broadcast to feature an inordinate amount of sports-betting content.
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