TV Answer Man, I am interested in the Bally Sports Plus app that lets you watch NBA and NHL games without a cable subscription. Can anyone subscribe to Bally Sports Plus? Is it available nationally? — Peter, Fairfax, Virginia.
Peter, Sinclair, the owner of the 19 Bally Sports regional sports networks (RSNs), last September launched an app that allows fans to subscribe directly to its Bally Sports broadcasts without a subscription to a pay TV service such as cable or satellite.
The app streams the live games of 16 NBA and 12 NHL teams. (Sinclair has the cable/satellite rights to 14 MLB teams, but it says it has only secured the streaming rights to five MLB teams thus far. They are the Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays Sinclair hopes to add more teams before the 2023 MLB season.)
The app’s cost is $19.99 a month or $189.99 a year, which could be a good deal for a fan looking to cut the cord.
But can anyone purchase a subscription and watch the games?
The answer is no.
The Bally Sports games are only available in markets where Sinclair has the regional rights for a specific team. For instance, in the Detroit market, you can purchase a subscription to watch the Tigers, Pistons and Red Wings, but not the Bally Sports broadcasts of other teams. Similarly, if you live outside a Bally Sports market, you won’t be able to watch any game on the app.
How can you tell if you live in a Bally Sports market?
It’s easy. Go to Bally’s web site, GetMyHomeTeams.com, and type in your zip code. For instance, let’s use a zip code for Santa Monica, California, 90405. When you type in that zip code in the ‘Find Your TV Provider’ box, you’ll see that Bally Sports SoCal is available with the games from the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
However, if you type in the zip code of Fairfax, Virginia, 22030, you’ll see that Bally Sports Plus is not available. If you want to watch the out-of-market games, you’ll have to subscribe to a pay package such as MLB.TV, NBA League Pass or ESPN+ which has the NHL Power Play games.
Peter, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at firstname.lastname@example.org Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann