Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks Offer to Subsidize DIRECTV STREAM Subscriptions
When an RSN is only available on one streaming service, sports fans can be caught between paying high prices or simply not watching. Mark Cuban really wants Dallas-area fans to watch his beloved Mavericks, so he partnered with DIRECTV STREAM to bring fans all the action.
According to a report by the Dallas Morning News, Cuban and the Mavs will offer fans a $50 credit each month to sign up for DIRECTV STREAM’s $84.99 plan throughout the NBA season, which would bring the price down to $34.99. This is the only tier that will allow fans to access Bally Sports Southwest, Sinclair’s Texas-focused RSN. Cuban is still reportedly working on the deal but said the franchise, “would first offer season-ticket holders the opportunity and then expand sign-ups to the first 10,000 fans total.”
DIRECTV STREAM is now the only live TV streaming service to offer Bally Sports Southwest since Sinclair purchased the former Fox Sports RSNs in August 2019. YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, fuboTV, and Sling have all since dropped the channels. Granted, the channels are available on linear cable providers like Spectrum, DirecTV, Suddenlink, and Grande Communications, but that doesn’t really help in an age of cord-cutting and contract-free cable agreements. It also doesn’t help thingswhen NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is making comments about the league's RSN landscape.
“For now, clearly, the (cable) bundle’s broken. I mean, we’re seeing now an issue that’s very topical at the moment, our regional sports networks, Sinclair in particular, and they’re, we’re trying with them to work through those issues,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday at the World Congress of Sports. “They paid $10 billion, it’s not clear, it’s a good deal with $5 billion,” Silver said. Sinclair purchased the former Fox Sports RSNs for $9.6 billion in 2019, before rebranding them as Bally Sports Networks. Silver went on to say that cable viewing in the NBA’s younger demographic has declined 70 percent, a figure supported by countless reports over the past year. Sinclair wants to launch a DTC streaming app but may just lack the rights to do so across the NBA, MLB, and NHL.
For now, Cuban is offering a shark-like solution to an issue plaguing his fanbase. But this fix might just be a bandage on the giant gaping wound that is Sinclair’s RSN business.