Minnesota Twins and Bally Sports North Nearing New Deal; Amazon Streaming Rights Not Included
Where will Minnesota Twins fans be able to watch their favorite Major League Baseball team play games this summer? We still do not know, but it appears we are very close to knowing where TV subscribers will be able to find them.
Minnesota Twins coming back to Bally Sports North in 2024?
If watching Twins games on Bally Sports North wasn’t a problem for you before, it shouldn’t be a problem going forward, either. According to a new update from Evan Drellich (The Athletic) on Wednesday, the bankruptcy agreement that includes Amazon is expected to go through with ease, as long as talks over the next weeks and months do not catch an unexpected snag.
But included in Drellich’s report, the Minnesota Twins are expected to rejoin a family of what a now projected 15 MLB teams who plan to contract their TV broadcasts with (Diamond Sports Group) Bally Sports regional sports network next season.
“…three MLB teams that potentially were not going to be carried by Diamond in 2024 — the Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers — are expected to remain with Diamond this season on one-year deals, a person briefed on the league’s thinking told The Athletic.”Evan Drellich – The Athletic
What about streaming rights?
Unfortunately for Twins fans without cable, satellite or catch-all streaming services like Fubo, this deal that seems nearly across the finish line, is unlikely to include streaming rights for the Twins and most other Bally teams.
That means, even after the Twins sign on for another year with Bally Sports North, their streaming future for this season will still be up in the air; news that will surely trigger the severe case of streaming PTSD that has built up within the fanbase.
All three teams are expected to remain with Diamond for 2024 on one-year deals, according to the person briefed on the league’s thinking. The deals are highly unlikely to include any streaming rights for those teams, which Diamond didn’t carry before either. Perhaps as early as this week, those deals will move closer to official — Diamond said in court it wants to know whether the teams will accept the terms that have been offered by Feb. 1.Evan Drellich – The Athletic
This is where the Amazon investment comes into play. As noted previously, Diamond Sports Group (Bally) only owns the streaming rights to five of the 15 teams it owns TV rights for. The MLB owns the other ten and doesn’t want to allow Diamond Sports to play middle man in negotiations with Amazon.
Once this bankruptcy deal is complete, I would expect Major League Baseball to start negotiating with Amazon directly on streaming rights in 2024 and beyond. Twins’ pitchers and catchers assemble in Fort Myers for Spring Training two weeks from now, on February 14. The entire squad will be there by the 18th. Opening Day is March 28.