Bally Sports Reveals Its Streaming Service Has Surprisingly Few Subscribers Nine Months After Launch




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Bally Sports is facing some difficulties getting subscriber numbers up to Diamond Sports Group’s expectations. The streaming sports service recently backed out of a billion-dollar contract with Major League Baseball, filing for bankruptcy earlier this month in a Texas court.

Since then, Diamond Sports Group revealed that Bally Sports Plus has only 203,000 subscribers since launching nine months ago. The company’s CEO, David Preschlack, announced this is only 55 percent of Bally Sports’ goal. Sources speculate “the service is generating only around $36 million in annual revenue,” not even close to closing the gap in Bally Sports’ massive $9 billion worth of debt. Bally Sports has lost “an estimated 1.7 million subscribers in the last decade.”

Before rebranding as Bally Sports, the service went by the name Fox Sports Network before being acquired by The Walt Disney Company in December of 2017. Sinclair Broadcast Group bought the service via its subsidiary, the Diamond Sports Group, for $10.6 billion in 2019, and Bally Sports was launched in 2021. 

Diamond Sports Group needs help keeping teams interested in renewing or even continuing contracts. The company has not brought in enough revenue to cover the costs of keeping teams signed on, or paying said teams what they’re owed.

Four teams signed up to air on Bally Sports have yet to be paid the total amount their contracts outline them receiving. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins, and Texas Rangers have only been paid roughly 75 percent of what Diamond Sports Group owes them for 2023.

Diamond Sports Group is hoping to restructure its deals with these teams in addition to 13 others, down to “market value” during the bankruptcy hearings currently underway. 

Further payments have ceased until the hearings are over and a new agreement is finalized. These teams are only four of the thirteen Major League Baseball teams Diamond Sports has its eye on to sign over DTC rights to Bally Sports Plus.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has made it well known he wants nothing to do with Bally Sports, responding to Diamond Sports Group’s request to add more teams with “Unfortunately, sometimes people want things they’re not going to get and you’re not getting these rights.” 

Combined with the legal issues and bankruptcy, declining subscriber numbers are far from the only reason Manfred and the MLB are trying to distance themselves from Bally Sports as quickly as possible.

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