Minnesota Twins Still Hope to Offer Blackout-Free Standalone Streaming Package This Season

Minnesota Twins, Bally Sports North
Credit: Photo: Anthony LaPanta (@AnthonyLaPanta - X)

It was a beautiful Sunday for baseball, even for those who could not make it to Target Field to watch the (51-39) Minnesota Twins walk off the Houston Astros in-person this afternoon.

Sure, there were a lot of fans at our beautiful home ballpark soaking in a classic July summer day in the Twin Cities. But there are plenty of local baseball fans who wanted nothing to do with public interaction today.

Think about all the fans falling in and out of consciousness on their couch today, with the game on TV, as they try to recharge their weekly batteries after a long 4th of July weekend. They wanted to see Christian Vazquez’ 9th inning walk-off bomb too.

But unless you subscribe to Charter, DirecTV or Fubo (or maybe a small town cable provide nobody has ever heard of), that isn’t legally possible. The millions of Xfinity (Comcast) subscribers across the state, along with cord cutters who have yet to subscribe to Fubo, are still unable to watch their favorite baseball team. Here is a catch-up on how we got here, just in case you need it.

Hope on the horizon for Minnesota Twins fans who can’t currently watch games on TV…

There may be hope on the horizon, though, according to what Dave St. Peter told Star Tribune columnist Chip Scoggins for Sunday’s paper. The Twins president seems fairly confident that an upcoming Diamond Sports (Bally) bankruptcy hearing scheduled for July 29-30 could end the regional streaming war that is currently keeping fans from watching games.

If so, in-market games may become available via standalone blackout-free streaming packages for Xfinity subscribers or fans who have cut the cord and are not willing to pay for an all-encompassing streaming platform (like Fubo).

It looks like the blackout will continue throughout July. Another bankruptcy hearing involving Diamond is scheduled for July 29. St. Peter said he is not “terribly optimistic” that a resolution might happen before then.

St. Peter said that hearing “could be an inflection point either with Comcast and/or with maybe freeing up the ability for us to introduce a direct-to-consumer option in the market for the last couple months of the regular season. That’s certainly our hope.”

Chip Scoggins – Star Tribune

As of now, the Minnesota Twins own the streaming rights to their own games… but Bally Sports still has local blackout laws/restrictions in place, which means neither can stream games locally, without an attached cable, satellite or Fubo service.

Why do July’s Diamond Sports (Bally) bankruptcy hearings matter for Minnesota Twins fans?

But the bankruptcy hearings that are scheduled for July 29-30 are expected to decide the future of Diamond Sports. The judge is determined to rule one way or another whether or not the company that owns Bally Sports regional networks will be allowed to try and emerge out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy or if Diamond Sports will instead be forced to shut down operations.

A confirmation hearing is scheduled for July 29-30, at which point a bankruptcy judge could determine whether Diamond, which runs the regional sports networks (RSN) for 38 MLB, NBA and NHL teams under the name Bally Sports, will move forward as a business or shut down entirely. It’s a decision that could expedite drastic changes in a rapidly evolving media landscape and one that will have a major impact on MLB’s strongly held desire to place media rights under a national umbrella.


Either way, one side could be forced to grant the other side standalone streaming rights as part of the proceedings. If Diamond Sports wins, the judge could rule that they cannot operate successfully without having streaming rights, thus forcing the MLB to hand or sell them over.

That would mean that Bally Sports North would be able to offer standalone Twins games on the Bally Sports app for $20/month, just like they do Wild and Wolves games.

Related: The Minnesota Twins Had What They Need to be True World Series Contenders

On the other hand, should the judge rule that Diamond Sports must cease business operation, it’s expected that they would lose the local broadcasting rights that cause games in their local market to be blacked out.

If this is the judge’s decision, the MLB would likely take over the broadcasting of games that are currently done by Bally Sports. That would allow in-market fans to purchase a standalone streaming package through MLB.TV, and not be subject to the blackout restrictions that in-market Twins fans are currently.

Either way, it appears some hope is on the horizon. Until then, just get Fubo for a month so you don’t miss what this team is doing right now. Here is one free week, to try it out.

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