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Fubo TV adding Sinclair sports, Scripps channels

The cable-replacement streaming service becomes one of the few to offer the Bally Sports regional sports channels.

The cable-replacement streaming service becomes one of the few to offer the Bally Sports regional sports channels.

A banner with the logo of streaming service Fubo TV hangs outside the New York Stock Exchange.
A banner with the logo of streaming service Fubo TV hangs outside the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo courtesy Fubo TV via LinkedIn, Graphic by The Desk)

Streaming television service Fubo TV is adding regional sports networks operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Diamond Sports division, as well as general entertainment and news channels from the E. W. Scripps Company.

This week, executives at Fubo TV said seven free, ad-supported streaming channels programmed by Scripps would be added at no extra cost to Fubo TV subscribers. The channels include Ion Television, Newsy (soon to be called Scripps News), Grit, Bounce and Court TV.

Today’s launch gives consumers a new streaming option to watch these top Scripps channels and further diversifies FuboTV’s growing programming line-up,” Marisa Elizondo, the vice president of content strategy and distribution at Fubo TV, said in a statement. “Fubo’s mission is to aggregate and distribute a leading sports package, balanced with news and entertainment content, that appeals to every member of the household, all at an affordable price.

On Wednesday, Fubo TV said it would also add nearly two dozen Bally Sports-branded regional sports networks operated by Sinclair’s Diamond Sports. The channels will be added as part of an expanded carriage agreement between Fubo TV and Sinclair that also includes the Tennis Channel and Marquee Sports Network.

RSNs are integral to FuboTV’s sports-first content strategy and our mission to super-serve local passionate sports fans,” Henry Ahn, the chief business officer at Fubo TV, said. “We are very pleased to bring Fubo subscribers significant local sports coverage through our new partnership with Bally Sports, the nation’s leader in local sports rights. Sinclair has been a great partner and we’re pleased that we were able to work together well to get a deal done that is meaningful and beneficial for both sides. We’re looking forward to bringing the Bally Sports RSNs to Fubo subscribers in the coming weeks.

The coverage map of Sinclair’s regional sports channels Bally Sports. (Image courtesy Sinclair Broadcast Group, Graphic by The Desk)

Sinclair has struggled to get carriage of its regional sports networks on cable, satellite and streaming platforms since it acquired the channels from the Walt Disney Company several years ago. Notably, Dish Network opted to drop Sinclair’s sports channels from its satellite line-up, and the channels have been largely unavailable online, with YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV and others choosing not to offer them to customers.

Media executives say the high cost of providing regional sports networks to subscribers usually results in higher fees for customers who may or may not watch those channels.

But the channels seem like a perfect fit for Fubo TV, which has long promoted its core product as a destination for live sports lovers.

Fubo TV has long been associated with connecting sports fans to their favorite teams, and we are thrilled to be expanding our partnership to include the Bally Sports regional sports networks across their platform, providing Fubo’s subscribers with streaming access to their favorite hometown Bally Sports teams,” Will Bell, the senior vice president and head of distribution and network relations for Sinclair, said on Wednesday. “Fubo has been a great partner, and we are excited to continue to grow our relationship to serve our collective viewers.”

The following channels owned by Diamond Sports will be added to Fubo TV as part of the deal with Sinclair:

  • Bally Sports Arizona
  • Bally Sports Detroit
  • Bally Sports Florida
  • Bally Sports Great Lakes
  • Bally Sports Indiana
  • Bally Sports Kansas
  • Bally Sports Midwest
  • Bally Sports New Orleans
  • Bally Sports North
  • Bally Sports Ohio
  • Bally Sports Oklahoma
  • Bally Sports San Diego
  • Bally Sports SoCal
  • Bally Sports South
  • Bally Sports Southeast
  • Bally Sports Southwest
  • Bally Sports Sun
  • Bally Sports West
  • Bally Sports Wisconsin

While the Yankee Entertainment and Sports Network (YES Network) is considered part of the Bally Sports network, it will not be included. Diamond Sports owns a 20 percent stake in the business.

Fubo TV starts at $70 a month and offers more than 100 live channels of sports, news and general entertainment. The company has agreements with Fox Corporation (Fox News, Fox Sports 1), Paramount Global (CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, CBS Sports Network), the Walt Disney Company (ABC, ESPN, the Disney Channel, FX, Freeform), TelevisaUnivision, Comcast Corporation (NBC, MSNBC, USA, Telemundo, NBC Universo) and others.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).