Sinclair is set to launch direct-to-consumer in bid to expand on Bally Sports regional sports network in 2022. The group’s CEO Chris Riley made the announcement to investors following the company’s quarter earnings call where he said that they are in the process of creating a DTC product that will help them reach consumers directly, hence reducing reliance on OTT providers like Hulu.
Game Changing DTC Service
The app is expected to materialize within the first six months of 2022. Ripley did not divulge a lot of details regarding the upcoming DTC app, not even price, launching date, or packaging details. The anticipated service will not replace the existing TV broadcasting properties but will instead complement them.
Bally Sports has been undergoing distribution problems with Over The Top platforms like Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV, and Dish over carriage fee differences.
Ripley said that the DTC service is expected to compensate for revenue lost from broadcasting and cable TV. Chris also revealed that subscribers of the app will not only enjoy the upgrades associated with digital viewing of local Bally Sports, but they will also have access to next-gen stats plus enhanced playback and recording features.
The CEO also mentioned the challenges associated with sports leagues like MLB (Major League Soccer), NHL (National Hockey League), and NBA (National Basketball Players Association) when it comes to negotiating video rights. Major League Soccer is, however, urging local teams to embrace DTC streaming services.