Bally Sports is the new name and branding for many Fox Sports channels. In total, Bally Sports is made up of 19 different regional sports networks and therefore will impact on a number of sports viewers across the U.S. However, not too much is changing for now, beyond the name and branding of the channels and the Fox Sports app which has now become the Bally Sports app.
Accessing many Fox Sports channels and RSNs has become increasingly harder in recent times. This is due to who owns the rights to these Fox Sports channels and the lack of a deal being struck with various live TV providers. These RSNs are either owned or operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group and over the last couple of years fuboTV, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV have all dropped these RSNs after failing to agree to new terms.
With so many of the major live TV streaming services having ended their relationships with these regional sports channels, viewers have been left with limited options when it comes to accessing their local RSN and watching live sports. However, in late 2020 Sinclair Broadcast Group and Bally’s Corporation struck their own deal to not only rebrand the channels, but also start a new chapter for how these channels are accessed.
Fox Sports Rebranded As Bally Sports
For reference, not all Fox Sports channels are part of this deal and change. For example, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 are not. The difference mainly comes down to a deal that was completed back in 2019. Essentially, when The Walt Disney Company purchased 21st Century Fox, Disney agreed to sell a number of channels in a bid to get regulatory approval for the multi-billion dollar deal. This resulted in 21 Fox regional sports networks eventually being acquired by Sinclair.
However, not all of those 21 Fox RSNs have been rebranded as Bally Sports. Instead, only 19 have made the transition with Fox Sports Carolina and Fox Sports Tennessee having been closed down. Content and local live sports previously available through these channels can now be accessed through Sports South and Sports Southeast, respectively.
Fox Sports RSNs that have changed to Bally Sports:
|Old Fox Channel||New Bally Channel|
|Fox Sports Arizona||Bally Sports Arizona|
|Fox Sports Detroit||Bally Sports Detroit|
|Fox Sports Florida||Bally Sports Florida|
|Sports Time Ohio||Bally Sports Great Lakes|
|Fox Sports Kansas City||Bally Sports Kansas City|
|Fox Sports Indiana||Bally Sports Indiana|
|Fox Sports Midwest||Bally Sports Midwest|
|Fox Sports New Orleans||Bally Sports New Orleans|
|Fox Sports North||Bally Sports North|
|Fox Sports Ohio||Bally Sports Ohio|
|Fox Sports Oklahoma||Bally Sports Oklahoma|
|Fox Sports San Diego||Bally Sports San Diego|
|Prime Ticket||Bally Sports SoCal|
|Fox Sports South||Bally Sports South|
|Fox Sports Southeast||Bally Sports Southeast|
|Fox Sports Southwest||Bally Sports Southwest|
|Fox Sports Sun||Bally Sports Sun|
|Fox Sports West||Bally Sports West|
|Fox Sports Wisconsin||Bally Sports Wisconsin|
How to watch and what to expect
Right now, the change is not that important beyond the rebranding. The two companies are planning to expand functionality in the future with an emphasis on betting and other sports-related features that take advantage of advancements in technology. While these new features will be integrated into the experience over time, consumers should not find accessing these channels all that different. For example, the channels all remain the same, with the same programming, and accessible through the same live TV services, whether streaming-based, cable or satellite.
The Fox Sports app has now become the Bally Sports app. Again, not much is changing in terms of what was there before, but the app is likely to be where users encounter more of the new interactive features and activities. The long-term goal here is not only to increase betting functionality and engagement, but also create more of a social-based experience. This is something that’s likely to be best served (at least to begin with) via the Android and iOS apps, making the apps where consumers will probably notice more of the changes.
The Bally Sports app is also an additional way to watch live sports games and events. However, this is another example of TV Everywhere support where consumers are able to log in and stream using their existing live TV service subscription credentials. In other words, they will still need to have an existing subscription that includes access to local RSNs and channels to watch through the Bally Sports app.
Bally Sports rebrand summary
Fox Sports is now Bally Sports. However, this only applies to 19 Fox regional sports networks. Other than Fox Sports Carolina and Fox Sports Tennessee which have been folded into Bally Sports South and Bally Sports Southeast, and the 19 Fox RSNs owned and operated by Sinclair, any other Fox Sports named or branded channels are unaffected by the change and continue to operate as they did before, including Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2.
From the consumer perspective, the transition to Bally Sports should not interfere with how they already access the channels or local live sports. However, they will likely encounter additional features as the partnership between Sinclair and Bally continues to evolve and expand.