Bally’s Expanding Content Offerings on Sinclair Sports Networks

Posted on: April 12, 2021, 09:35h. 

Last updated on: June 30, 2021, 08:50h.

Bally’s Corp. (NYSE:BALY) is broadening its partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group to include new, original content. It’s a move that could eventually include the gaming company working with the media outfit’s Sinclair’s Tennis Channel and Stadium units.

Bally's Sinclair
A collage of Sinclair Broadcasting programming. The media company is expanding its agreement with Bally’s. (Image: The Bay Observer)

The news arrives about six months after the casino operator said it’s paying the broadcaster $85 million over 10 years to attach its name to 19 regional sports networks (RSNs), marking one of the most overt relationships between a gaming company and a media firm to date. Bally’s name and logo began appearing on regional Major League Baseball (MLB) and NBA broadcasts earlier this month.

Today, the companies unveiled a memorandum of understanding (MOU) broadening their working relationship.

Under the MOU, Bally’s and Sinclair will work collectively to facilitate the production and broadcast of Bally’s-produced content during the current non-game windows on Sinclair’s 19 regional sports networks, recently rebranded ‘Bally Sports,’” according to a statement.

The MOU has no impact on the $85 million Bally’s is paying Sinclair for naming rights.

Bally’s Broadcast Benefits Accrue

The Rhode Island-based gaming company, which reportedly beat out some larger rivals for the Sinclair RSN deal, has other levers to pull within that agreement and the MOU that are to its benefit.

For example, bolstering content offerings and interactive programming will serve as a runway for the operator to launch its Bally Bet app. It will also trim Bally’s advertising spend — a crucial perk, because one of the biggest outputs sportsbook operators face is advertising/customer acquisition costs.

Bally’s is eyeing the “gamification” of live sports as the next frontier in interactive gaming. That preparation could prove prescient, because Wall Street analysts are forecasting increasing synergies — and revenue — from in-game and micro-betting.

Micro-betting involves a gambler wagering on a specific in-game event. Say whether or not an NBA makes his next free throw, or if an NFL kicker is successful on a field goal attempt. Media partnerships are conducive to pushing this form of betting, and with the Sinclair RSNs, Bally’s has a head start on many of its rivals.

Bally’s Refining Media Template

While the Bally’s/Sinclair partnership is still in its early innings, one thing is clear: Wall Street expects more media/sports betting combinations to pop up, and that such deals will ultimately prove to be big business.

Earlier this year, Macquarie Research forecast more than $30 billion worth of iGaming and sports wagering revenue by 2030 vis a vis gaming company relationships with media providers.

“The Sinclair-owned and operated Bally Sports RSN portfolio includes the following 19 network brands: Bally Sports Arizona; Bally Sports Detroit; Bally Sports Florida; Bally Sports Great Lakes; Bally Sports Kansas City; Bally Sports Indiana; 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; and, Bally Sports Wisconsin,” according to the statement.

With that footprint, the Bally’s name is on broadcasts tied to a significant percentage of MLB, NBA, and NHL teams in markets where sports betting is both legal and not yet permitted.