Bally Sports Releases Tone Deaf Statement on Contract Battle with Comcast

Minnesota Twins, Bally Sports, Comcast
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Arguably the most significant reason to subscribe to a cable or blanket streaming service during this day and age is due to live sports. Now, Bally Sports has had trouble staying on streaming services (other than Fubo).

But for the most part, local sports fans have been able to rely their old-fashioned cable box to continue showing their favorite sports teams. That changed when the contract between Diamond Sports Group (Bally) and Comcast came to an end without the two sides agreeing to terms on a new deal.

Bally Sports playing ‘poor me’ in battle with Comcast

Tone deaf statements have followed, and fans continue to lose. Now, it has become a war of words and Diamond Sports Group’s Bally Sports networks are trying to play poor me in the realm of public opinion.

While Diamond Sports Group goes through bankruptcy proceedings, Bally continues to stay tone deaf when shifting the blame. Comcast, the second-largest cable provider in the country and the choice of many, many Twins fans across the viewing area.

Update for Xfinity customers: We have made best efforts to reach a mutually beneficial distribution deal with Comcast. Their refusal to broadcast games while we continue the conversation is disappointing and above all hurts the fans. Visit http://SaveOurLocalTeams.com to learn more.

For now, that impacts the local Major League Baseball landscape the most, but also keeps Minnesota Lynx and WNBA fans from watching their favorite team too. It has been reported that Comcast was looking to change the package required for Bally availability, and the bankrupt company didn’t want to play nice.

Rather than taking any sort of ownership, each group involved in this nonsense has tried to play ‘poor me’, while passing the buck to another blameworthy party. Last week, it was the Twins trying to shift blame, claiming they have nothing to do with the dispute between Bally’s and Comcast.

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While technically that might be true, the Twins did take ~$40 million from Diamond Sports Group (Bally) to put their product back on a network struggling to stay afloat. Then, they went ahead and slashed payroll by $35 million anyway.

Comcast has been up front in suggesting that they no longer have rights to Bally Sports after the latest attempts for an extension have fallen short. Bally took their ball and went home even though they desperately need the cash flow to keep coming in.

Marketing through manipulation, a Minnesota Twins fan story

In the days since the channel went dark for Comcast customers, all Bally Sports has done is take to social media and point a finger at the company that was paying them. With massive outlays still owed to multiple different franchises, it would stand to reason that Diamond Sports Group can’t afford to cut down on opportunities for cash flow. Rather than understand that fate though, Bally Sports continues to seek a deal in their best interest, despite lacking leverage.

Comcast has remained steadfast in alerting customers that Bally Sports is no longer available among their channel lineup, and they are seeking a resolution that makes sense for them. Any calls to customer support are immediately met with a pre-recorded message noting the situation with Bally Sports.

Curiously enough, Comcast’s own messaging service also a mention that Fubo TV currently has a free-trial offer. I suppose, trying to keep customers (even if only on the internet side of things) does make some sense for a cable company getting slammed with cancellations, following the removal of content.

Greed Kills the Fans

At the end of the day the only people losing in this whole ordeal are the fans. Frustration is at a fever pitch, and Bally Sports knows that as evidenced by their decision to turn off replies on a recent tweet. With large corporations fighting over who is more wrong, fans are left with no indication of a way to make it right.

Thankfully the Minnesota Timberwolves epic playoff run has since shifted to national stations rather than Bally Sports, but the wake of destruction and despair this dispute is currently leaving on the local sports market is one that could have not been handled more poorly. This is a perfect reflection of the Spiderman meme playing out in front of our eyes.

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