Bally Sports Plus launched earlier this week, in a soft launch. Making it available in just five markets. That’s Bally Sports Detroit, Kansas City, Florida, North and Sun. Well things get interesting for those in Florida. Since Bally Sports Florida and Bally Sports Sun are available in the same area, but host different teams.
Bally Sports Florida has the Miami Marlins, Florida Panthers and Orlando Magic. While Florida Sun has the Miami Heat, Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning. So they mostly cover the same area, I mean, Miami-based teams are available on both channels. So with Bally Sports Plus, you should get access to all of those teams for $20 per month, right?
Wrong. Due to streaming rights that Bally Sports Plus, it is only able to sell streaming rights to individual regional sports networks or RSNs, and not individual teams. Meaning, to get all of those teams, you need two different subscriptions to Bally Sports Plus. Now it will be the same account, but that affectively makes your subscription, $40 per month.
This won’t be just a Florida problem
While not all of the Bally Sports networks cross with another RSN, there are a handful that do. Like in Los Angeles and San Diego, games are aired across Bally Sports West, Bally Sport SoCal and Bally Sports San Diego. So in order to watch the Los Angeles Angels, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, LA Clippers and San Diego Padres, customers would need to subscribe to all three channels.
It’s going to get very confusing and very pricey for some people, if Sinclair doesn’t figure this out. But this is also another example of how crazy streaming rights can be. The fact that Bally Sports can only sell individual channels and not teams, makes this all a lot more messy.
Hopefully by the time the full launch happens later this year, things will be worked out a little better.