Sports fans have been looking for ways to get local sports, without having to pay for an entire cable or streaming bundle.
Recently, Sinclair announced they will be launching a new app for their Fox Sports/Bally Sports RSNs—which will rollout first with TV Everywhere authentication, then they’ll be available via direct-to-consumer service.
During their Q2 2021 conference call, MSG Networks was asked by LightShed Partners, Brandon Ross, if they planned to take their RSNs direct-to-consumer soon.
In response, the company said that they certainly have the rights to bring MSG, the home of the Knicks, Rangers, Devils, Islanders, and Sabres, direct-to-consumer as streaming service.
“We see the media landscape continuing to evolve. We’re continuing to monitor developments and consumer behavior. Of course, we believe live local professional sports rights are unique and highly valuable asset, and there are always going to be new and innovative potential incremental offerings,” stated executive vice president of business affairs, Adam Levine.
“We said before, we have the flexibility to do a direct-to-consumer offering, if that’s what we think ultimately makes sense. I don’t think we have anything to announce now about the time line for whether we will or won’t offer such a product. It’s an intriguing option for us down the road. It’s something we’ll continue to evaluate.”
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The company has seen massive growth this year with their TV Everywhere App, MSG Go. The company said that they’re up ~65% in viewers and 83% in minutes watched. When you break it down by individual teams, the Rangers, has seen their audience double in viewers and 125% in minutes watched.
As to whether the company will follow Sinclair, who licensed the naming rights to Fox Sports RSNs to Ballys, MSG Network’s President and CEO Andrea Greenberg said they have free range. “We have no restrictions in our agreements in terms of…what we name our channels. So we certainly have the rights to do that. And we will explore all opportunities to integrate sports gaming and interactive games into our networks and into our sites and apps,” she stated.