Over a year after purchasing the 21 Fox Sports regional sports networks, Sinclair Broadcast Group has a deal with casino operator Bally’s Corp. to rename them Bally Sports. The agreement is still subject to the approval of MLB, the NBA and NHL.
Bally’s will reportedly pay Sinclair $85 million over 10 years for the naming rights, but the deal is not exclusive; the broadcaster can still sell ads and partner with other betting operators.
Bally’s brand will be promoted across Sinclair’s 190 broadcast TV stations as well as the Tennis Channel and its sports streaming platform Stadium.
Sinclair will also get a 15% stake in Bally’s and have the rights to pick up another 15% if certain performance targets are met, as well as a percentage of the operator’s interactive marketing spend.
The long-term plan is for viewers to be able to bet on games through an online Bally’s tool directly from their TVs. Bally’s is also buying sports betting software company Bet.Works for $125 million, according to Bloomberg.
“This arrangement represents an opportunity to revolutionize the U.S. sports betting, gaming and media industries,” Bally Chairman Soo Kim said in a statement.
“Sinclair, with its broad holdings of stations, channels and RSNs, provides immediate, national brand recognition that will support the development of Bally’s player database for both our traditional casinos as well as our future online offerings, and ultimately deliver significant shareholder value. We look forward to integrating our first-in-class, omni-channel sports betting and iGaming offerings with Sinclair’s expansive broadcast network to create a more engaging and tailored experience for sports fans, positioning Bally’s to become one of the top U.S. sports betting and iGaming operators.”
Sinclair bought the Fox Sports RSNs, as well as the Marquee Network and YES Network, in August 2019 for $9.6 billion, but wrote down their value to $4.23 billion earlier this month. Walt Disney was required to sell the networks to clear its acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
Since the end of the 2020 MLB, NBA and NHL seasons, the RSNs have been dropped by Dish Networks, Hulu and YouTube TV.