TV Answer Man, do you know if the Atlanta Braves will be on Bally Sports Plus this season? I would like to get rid of DIRECTV, but I can’t miss the Braves. Please let me know. — Chad, Roswell, Georgia. 

Chad, for those not familiar with Bally Sports Plus, Sinclair, the owner of the 19 Bally Sports regional sports networks (RSNs), last year launched a streaming service 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 service, which is called Bally Sports Plus, is run by a Sinclair unit called Diamond Sports.

Bally Sports Plus, which costs $19.99 a month or $189.99 a year, streams the live games of 16 NBA and 12 NHL teams, but 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 has frequently expressed hope that Diamond Sports will add more teams before the 2023 MLB season. (The nine teams that Sinclair/Diamond has not secured deals with are: Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Guardians, San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Angels.)

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However, the company’s plan to add more teams seems in flux now with Bloomberg reporting that Diamond Sports is preparing to file for bankruptcy. Sinclair’s RSN (Regional Sports Networks) business has been hampered by its inability to secure carriage deals with several pay TV providers including YouTube TV, Sling TV, Dish and Hulu Live. (It did just sign a deal with FuboTV.)

So with bankruptcy possibly looming, it will be even more difficult for Diamond to successfully negotiate a deal with the Braves or any of the other eight MLB teams, at least in the foreseeable future.

The TV Answer Man will continue to monitor this situation and report back here if anything significant changes. Until then, happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann