Bally’s and Major League Baseball (MLB) have inked a deal to stream all MLB minor league games on the Bally’s Bally Live app for free.
According to reports, MLB sold the broadcast rights to its 120 minor league teams to the US casino firm. The streaming is expected to launch next month.
The deal comes in the wake of Diamond Sports, a sports network that owned broadcast rights to more than a dozen MLB teams, filed for bankruptcy earlier this month.
Move could boost minor league baseball’s viewership
MLB has had its struggles with getting people to watch minor league baseball on its streaming platforms. For example, the Louisville Bats were the sixth-most-watched minor league team in 2021 with just 24,000 total views on MiLB.tv, the league’s official website.
The MLB also provides minor league streams on its At Bat app. But, according to a report from the New York Post, the app had around 40,000 subscribers in 2022. The service costs $29.99 per year or $3.99 per month.
In contrast, the Post said that Bally’s has 750,000 players using its websites and apps each month. That massive customer base could provide a significant boost to minor league viewership.
The Post also noted that the MLB plans to offer games and contests that give winners Bally’s Rewards points. If users amass enough points, they can use the points to place bets in the Bally Live app.
It’s important to note that Bally’s will not allow any betting on minor league games.
US casino firm Bally’s and MLB continue to expand relationship
The news that Bally’s will provide free minor-league streaming is the latest announcement in a growing relationship between the two companies.
In March 2021, Bally’s announced it was an authorized Major League Baseball gaming operator. The partnership gave the company access to MLB league and team logos, as well as league data used when offering MLB betting to customers through its Bally Bet sportsbook.
Additionally, the partnership gave Bally’s the chance to create content for MLB viewers in 19 regional sports markets. The deal put Bally in the markets of more than half of the MLB’s teams.
Additionally, Bally’s has greatly advocated moving the Oakland A’s to Las Vegas. The US casino brand threw around the idea of tearing down the Tropicana Las Vegas and replacing it with an MLB stadium.
“We’re very much looking at the long-term plan for the Tropicana property, and that includes whether or not we could put a diamond in the middle,” CEO Lee Fenton said during the company’s Q3 2022 earnings call.