The MLB is planning on making games available to stream for free in areas where there’s no longer an option to stream a Bally Sports RSN, according to a recent report. This is specifically in relation to the ongoing issues with Diamond Sports and Bally Sports.
In spite of being in control of Bally Sports RSNs, Diamond Sports appears to be facing some serious issues at the moment, with bankruptcy seemingly like a very real possibility. Naturally, this has led to various concerns over how those regional sports networks will be accessed in the future, if at all.
One option that now seems to be on the cards is to make games available for free in areas that are affected by a loss of access to an RSN. According to the New York Post, the league will “take over the local broadcasts of the money-losing teams and stream them for free in their respective local markets.”
Based on the information available, this means the Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and San Diego markets.
While good news for local residents, it should be noted that this is only being viewed as a short-term solution to the problem and the free access is expected to only remain available while the league figures out its next move. Basically, while it continues to negotiate with TV companies to find a broadcast solution.
If everything goes ahead as suggested, the actual change could happen pretty soon as the same report suggests that Diamond Sports could file for bankruptcy as soon as Friday, March 17. At which point, it is expected that Diamond Sports will officially end the existing contracts it has with the teams it is losing money on. Specifically, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Guardians, and San Diego Padres.
For reference, it is still somewhat unclear how exactly these games will be made available to steam for free, as that’s something that’s said to be still in the process of being worked out. However, the MLB.TV app, where fans can already pay to watch out-of-market games, seems like the most likely candidate.