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A Major Shift in Baseball Viewership

By: Seth Klein    October 29, 2021

America’s pastime had a major shift in the broadcast landscape this past year when the largest regional sports network (or RSN), FOX Sports, became Bally Sports Network. This shift came about when Disney purchased most FOX assets and sold these RSNs to Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Although viewership from the shortened 2020 season was up in 2021, overall viewership is down 12% from the last full season in 2019. Comparing the RSNs from 2019 and 2021, NBC Sports is up by 30%, AT&T SportsNet is down slightly by 3%, and Bally Sports Network is down by 19%.

A large impact of the decrease in viewership has to do with where you can watch a game on the Bally Sports Network. This decrease is due to Sinclair Broadcast Group’s inability to reach an agreement with many of the live OTT partners, including Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV and Dish Network. As a solution, Bally Sports Network will begin to offer a direct-to-consumer service starting in 2022.