Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, tells The Dallas Morning News that he’s working on a program to provide a $50 subsidy to Dallas area fans to subscribe to DIRECTV Stream so they can watch Bally Sports Northwest, the Mavericks’ TV home.
The 19 Bally regional sports networks (RSNs), including Bally Sports Northwest, are not available on Dish or several other live streaming services such as Hulu Live, FuboTV, Sling TV and YouTube, frustrating fans across the nation.
The Bally Sports nets have the local TV rights to dozens of NBA, NHL and MLB teams. However, the streamers and Dish have said Sinclair Broadcasting, which owns the RSNs, are asking for excessive carriage fees to carry them.
But DIRECTV Stream, the live streaming service owned by DIRECTV, does carry Bally Sports in its $84.99 a month plan. Cuban’s $50 subsidy would bring the price of the plan to $35 a month.
Cuban told the newspaper he’s still working on the details, but he said the Mavericks would first offer the $50 subsidy to the team’s season ticket holders. Later, he would expand the list to the first 10,000 fans who signed up for the credit.
The Mavericks owner did not say when the program would start, but the new NBA season tipped off last week. Bally Sports Southwest also airs the games of the Dallas Stars NHL team and the Texas Rangers MLB team.
It’s unclear if Cuban’s plan is being considered by teams in other markets, but the Mavericks’ owner (and Shark Tank TV panelist) is famous for offering innovative solutions to thorny problems.
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— Phillip Swann