When Bally Sports’ collection of Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) finally launched on fuboTV in early February, sports fans across the country rejoiced. That joy quickly turned to confusion for fans in San Diego and the Great Lakes region, however, as the RSNs covering those markets were the only two not to be released on Fubo at that time.
“Please note that Bally Sports San Diego and Bally Sports Great Lakes will launch at a later date, prior to the Major League Baseball season,” the company’s website said at the time. That later hour is now, as Bally Sports Great Lakes and Bally Sports San Diego are now available to fuboTV users in the appropriate markets.
The absence of these two channels in the initial release is likely explained by the fact that the main teams covered by the channels are Major League Baseball. Bally Sports’ other RSNs also cover basketball and/or hockey, and both the NHL and NBA are right in the middle of their regular seasons. The baseball season, on the other hand, is just starting its preseason, with Spring Training games set to begin on Friday, February 24th.
The Great Lakes network covers coverage in many regions on its coverage map with over Bally Sports RSNs that include coverage of the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA and the Columbus Bluejackets of the NHL. So the redundancy of having the Great Lakes channel also wouldn’t provide viewers with much additional content until Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Guardians begin their preseason action.
Likewise, Bally Sports SoCal brings coverage of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and NHL’s Anaheim Ducks to San Diego, so there was no need to charge customers RSN fees for both channels until the San Deigo Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers go back to diamond.
Thanks to the addition of these two channels to fuboTV, Padres and Guardians fans won’t be missing their first spring practices. The Padres will face the Seattle Mariners on February 24 at 3:10 pm ET, and the Guardians will face the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, February 25 at 3:05 pm ET.
The additions of these two networks should mean that Bally Sports and its parent company Diamond Sports Group (DSG) have confidence that they will be able to broadcast games as scheduled. DSG is currently in the midst of bankruptcy court proceedings, leaving many viewers wondering if they would be able to fulfill their MLB contracts.
However, baseball is more than prepared if the DSG is unable to broadcast these games. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed that the league will use its linear MLB Network channel to broadcast games intended for Bally Sports’ RSNs if DSG is unable to fulfill its contractual obligations to the league. Such a move could imply that MLB also offers in-market games on its out-of-market gaming service, MLB.TV.
For now, however, it looks like things are in full swing for Bally Sports as far as the MLB season is concerned. Bally Sports Great Lakes and Bally Sports San Diego are available to fubo.TV users in those markets starting now.