Twins and Bally Sports North are Done; Wolves and Wild are Next
Well, the rumored turned to expected and then reality. The Minnesota Twins will not be broadcast on Bally Sports North next season, meaning the local pro baseball team is officially in search of a different way to broadcast games next summer.
Bally Sports North and Twins officially split
But the Twins aren’t the only local professional sports team that is splitting with Bally’s. It was reported on Wednesday night that both the Timberwolves and Wild will have to find new TV broadcast partners after their 2023-24 seasons, as well.
…at season’s end, the [Minnesota Timberwolves] and [Minnesota Wild] will find themselves in the same predicament as the Minnesota Twins are now: They’ll be free agents looking for a new broadcasting partner.
“Let’s be clear what’s going on here: This is a liquidation of the business,” David Seligman, attorney for Sinclair Inc., which purchased 19 regional sports networks including BSN in 2019. “This is going to be in operation for another year, and then it’s going to be shutting down the business.”Phil Miller – Star Tribune
What’s next for Twins, Wolves and Wild?
The most likely path forward for the Twins next season is that they use the MLB’s resources to create their own temporary (at least for now) broadcast network.
They’d then charge a fee to fans who want to stream games through MLB.TV and local blackout restrictions would no longer exist. The Twins would also charge an unknown amount to cable, satellite and streaming outlets (Fubo, Hulu, Youtube TV, etc) who want to offer the Twins’ new channel on their platform.
Any hopes for the Twins returning to BSN were likely damaged by Sinclair’s declaration Wednesday that 2024 is the networks’ final year.
“The Sinclair folks who originally acquired Diamond, they’re kind of bummed. They’re bummed that this business that they put a billion and a half [dollars] of equity value in is now going to be shut down,” Seligman said. “There are going to be people losing their jobs. Diamond’s business is going to go away.”Phil Miller – Star Tribune
This business plan should allow the Twins organization to recoup some of the $50+ million that they are used to receiving yearly from their Bally Sports North contract. Unfortunately, they’re only projected to make a fraction of that, after operating and overhead costs, etc.
As for the Timberwolves and Wild, and what to expect with their TV broadcasts next season… your guess is as good as mine. But they have some time to figure it out. At least for the rest of this season, they are both safe.