Bally’s Licensing Deal with Sincalir
Sinclair Broadcasting owns 21 major regional sports networks that broadcast games across America. Oftentimes, in Southern California, for example, if you are watching a Lakers, Dodgers, or Kings game, you are watching it on a Sinclair channel. Well, Bally’s Casino Group, a major casino company with sportsbook deals all over the country, has just paid $85 million for a 10-year licensing deal that will see all of these major regional networks rebranded to something along the lines of “Bally Sports”.
In these 21 regional markets, it is estimated that Bally will be the face of the TV network for 41 sports teams across America. The $85 million deal may end up looking like a steal over these next ten years, especially if some of the major states that Sinclair broadcasts in, like California, legalize sports gambling. Having direct advertisement for a majority of the hometown games is going to be worth millions every year in major sports betting markets like this.
There are also talks from experts that say Bally would like to integrate sports betting directly into the viewing experience. This is something that tons of companies are looking at. First off, the companies need to figure out the logistics of how to make that happen, and then they also need to work with regulators in every single state to figure out how this would fit with the current rules.
However, once one sportsbook is able to integrate the viewing and betting experience, the money will start to flow in. Bally is making a smart move here, securing a route to offer this in over 20 regional markets and having that deal locked up for ten years. $85 million is a lot; however, with the number of layers to the value of this move, it just makes sense.
What Does this Mean for the Industry?
This brings up the question: what will other major sportsbooks like MGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel do in response? MGM has been aggressive in its partnerships with professional teams to offer sports betting live at the stadium. However, we all know that the real cash in sports wagering is in mobile and online betting from home. If this idea of betting live during the game through whatever service you use to watch the game takes off, then all three of these massive sportsbook entities will be jumping at the opportunity to launch their own service. Whether that service is a partnership or its own live-streaming/televised channel is unknown.
We saw that FuboTV is looking to get into the sports betting game. Maybe there could be a collaboration instead of Fubo’s own service in the works. Merging DraftKings Sportsbook, for example, and FuboTV’s live streaming could be a match worth billions.
One thing is for sure, Bally’s Casino group has seemingly gotten a steal and is on the forefront of the sports betting craze with this licensing agreement. The value in advertising and potential crossover of viewing and betting will make this deal seem cheap in just a few years. I would not be shocked to hear several deals from other major casino and sports betting groups follow this one.