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Your Guide to Bally Sports: How to Stream Online Without Cable

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Bally Sports is the largest collection of regional sports networks (RSNs) in the US. They are essential for local MLB, NBA, NHL, and MLS fans. But it can be confusing to understand what’s available and where it’s offered. We’ve done all the work for you. Read on for all the details!

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Regional Sports Networks

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Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) are an odd relic of the history of sports and TV. They are local channels that air most of the games of Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL), and (increasingly) Major League Soccer (MLS).

For example, if you live in Oklahoma City, the only way to watch all the Thunder games is to sign-up with Bally Sports Oklahoma. You can get a subscription to NBA League Pass, but the Thunder games will be blacked out for you. That’s also generally true of games that air on national channels.

If this seems crazy, that’s because it is! Just the same, RSNs provide great value to local sports fans. And it isn’t just professional sports. They also show games from local college and even high school teams.

The bottom line is simple: if you want to watch a lot of games played by your local professional sports teams, you need your local RSNs. And in most areas, that means Bally Sports.

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Bally Sports

Bally Sports is a collection of 19 RSNs. They are owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group via Diamond Sports Group. The name was licensed from Bally’s Corporation. Diamond acquired these channels when the US DOJ forced Fox Sports to sell them as a condition of being acquired by Disney.

There were originally 21 Fox Sports RSNs. But Fox Sports Carolinas and Fox Sports Tennessee were both shutdown. Tennessee’s coverage of the Grizzlies was moved to Bally Sports Southeast and the Predators coverage was moved to Bally Sports South. Similarly, Carolinas’ coverage of the Hornets moved to Bally Sports Southeast and Hurricane coverage went to Bally Sports South.

Through 2019, FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, DIRECTV STREAM, and YouTube TV all provided streaming access to these channels. But in 2020, Fubo, Hulu, and YouTube dropped them. This has led to the current situation where DIRECTV STREAM is the only live TV streaming service to offer Bally Sports regional networks.

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Bally Sports Programming

The primary focus of each Bally Sports channel is to air live games of their affiliated MLB, NBA, NHL, and MLS teams. In fact, these are generally the only way for local fans to watch these games. For example, a Twins fan in Minneapolis can see most games only via Bally Sports North. (The exceptions are the small number of games that are shown exclusively on national channels like ESPN or streaming services like Apple TV+.)

Bally Sports channels also provide coverage of other leagues. WNBA games, for example, often appear on Bally Sports. So are other professional sports like boxing, volleyball, and surfing.

College football also shows up on Bally Sports channels. And notable high school athletic events like the Texas High School Football Championships also appear on Bally Sports.

Sometimes, Bally Sports channels will offer content from Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Stadium and Tennis Channel.

Finally, Bally Sports offers a collection of other sporting events like poker and fishing.

One thing that Bally Sports does not offer is NFL games. This is true of all RSNs. NFL games are broadcast on national channels. However, Bally Sports channels do offer some programming for NFL fans. They just don’t offer the games themselves.

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Streaming Bally Sports

There are two ways to stream Bally Sports. The first is to use the Bally Sports app. But in order to use it, you must sign in with your TV provider credentials for a subscription that grants you access. These can be provided from a number of services including:

  • AT&T U-verse
  • Cox
  • DIRECTV
  • DIRECTV STREAM
  • Mediacom
  • Optimum
  • Spectrum
  • Suddenlink
  • WOW!
  • Xfinity

The Bally Sports app is available for most devices including Amazon Fire TV, Android mobile, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS (iPhone/iPad), Roku, Web browsers, and Xbox One gaming systems.

The second option is to get DIRECTV STREAM. It provides access to all the Bally Sports channels in addition to all the others. For example, Houston residents will get Bally Sports Southwest and Bally Sports Oklahoma as well as AT&T Sportsnet Southwest.

To get access to these RSNs, you must sign-up for the Choice plan for $89.99/mo. This includes roughly 100 other TV channels including 14 live sports channels: ACCN, B1G, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, FS1, Golf Channel, MLB Network, MotorTrend, NBA TV, SECN, Tennis Channel, and TVG.

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Bally Sports+

Note: At this point, Bally Sports+ has not secured rights to most MLB, NBA, and NHL team games. Make sure that your teams will be available before signing up. Or stick with DIRECTV STREAM.

In mid-2022, Bally Sports released its own direct-to-consumer streaming service. It is called Bally Sports+ (or Bally Sports Plus) and costs $19.99/mo or $189.99/yr. With it, you can stream the included channels through the Bally Sports app or on the website, BallySports.com. Currently, it is limited to subscribers in five locations: Detroit, Kansas City, Miami, Milwaukee, and Tampa Bay.

According to the company, all 19 Bally Sports channels will be included with Bally Sports+ as of September 26th — in time for the start of the MLB regular season.

Is Bally Sports+ Worth It?

There are definitely situations where Bally Sports+ is worth subscribing to. The best subscriber for Bally Sports+ is one in an area that only offers the Bally Sports channels and no other RSNs. But even there, it gives subscribers more choices and not any kind of savings. At its current price, it isn’t a good deal to most subscribers unless they just really hate DIRECTV STREAM.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind. Bally Sports+ is limited to its own RSNs. So viewers in Los Angeles would get Bally Sports SoCal and Bally Sports West but not Spectrum SportsNet or SportsNet LA. The only solution to such viewers is to go with DIRECTV STREAM.

You also wouldn’t get any national channels like ESPN. This issue can be solved by combining Bally Sports+ with Sling TV and an antenna. But to get the full extent of sports programming with ESPN, FS1, and USA Network, you’d need the Orange + Blue plan. That would make your total cost shoot up to $69.99/mo. If you want MLB Network and NBA TV, you need the Sports Plus add-on for $15/mo more. If you want CBS, you need Paramount+ for $4.99/mo more.

That’s $89.98/mo. You’d probably be better off with the DIRECTV STREAM Choice plan for $89.99/mo where you’d have it all in one place with unlimited DVR storage and simultaneous screens.

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Bally Sports Channels

There are 19 Bally Sports Channels. The vast majority provide access to the local MLB, NBA, and NHL teams. The coverage of MLS is not as good. Of the 25 US-based MLS teams, only 3 get major coverage.

The following table includes links to our pages as well as the teams of the 4 leagues that are covered. Note that there is crossover. There are many areas where you will receive more than one RSN.

Alternatively, not all teams are included in all regions. For example, Bally Sports Southwest is a very large region. Subscribers in San Antonio do not get access to Mavericks games and Dallas subscribers do not get Spurs games.

See our pages for the details about this.

Non-Bally RSNs

Bally Sports provides the most RSNs but there are a number of other important RSNs.

NBC Sports

The other major provider is NBC Sports. They offer the following:

All of these RSNs are offered in the base plans of FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV. DIRECTV STREAM offers all of these except for NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Because of the non-RSN channels offered and the lower price ($69.99/mo), we recommend Hulu + Live TV for those who want NBC Sports RSNs.

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Other RSNs

All of the following RSNs are available from DIRECTV STREAM. In addition, FuboTV provides access to those from AT&T, Marquee, MSG, NESN, and Root. SportsNet New York is available from FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV.

Wrapping Up

Depending on where you live, you may need to get Bally Sports if you want to watch the local MLB, NBA, NHL, and (to a lesser extent) MLS teams. DIRECTV STREAM is the only way to get Bally Sports without cable. That’s also true of other RSNs like Spectrum SportsNet LA (Dodgers) and YES Network (Yankees).

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