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Bally Sports North Without Cable: The Top Streaming Service That Lets You Watch It

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Are you located in or near Minnesota and are a devoted fan of the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Wild, or Minnesota United FC? If yes, you need to get Bally Sports North as doing so will grant you access to the vast majority of games played by all of those teams.

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What Is Bally Sports North?

Bally Sports North is one of the numerous Bally Sports affiliates that are spread across the country. Regional sports networks (RSNs) such as these provide focused coverage of local teams.

It is broadcast out of Minneapolis-St Paul and features primarily Minnesota sports. As of 2021, it is owned by Diamond Sports Group, a company set up for the purpose of managing all 19 Bally Sports channels by Sinclair Broadcast Group and Entertainment Studios Networks. The Bally name is through a licensing deal with Bally’s Corporation and doesn’t signify anything else.

Bally Sports North is geographically limited (see below) and is not available to subscribers outside its broadcast ara. For example, those in Miami or Phoenix cannot watch these broadcasts without subscribing to an out-of-market service, such as MLB.TV ($24.99/mo).

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Bally Sports North Availability

Bally Sports North’s broadcast area is centered around the Twin Cities, radiating out from there. It covers all of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

It is also available in the very northern part of Iowa; in the Hawkeye State, it is available in Mason City but not in Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Ames, or Des Moines.

Bally Sports North Sports Teams

Bally Sports North covers most games played by the Minnesota Twins (MLB), Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA), Minnesota Wild (NHL), and Minnesota United FC (MLS).

It also carries about a third of the contests played by the Minnesota Lynx (WNBA) and a selection of college sports events, including several Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey games.

The most notable exception to this list of Minnesota-based teams that are featured on Bally Sports North is the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. All of their games are available on over-the-air television channels to those based in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Others in the Bally Sports North broadcast area will experience the same in most cases but will occasionally need to tune elsewhere, such as to ESPN, to watch Vikings games.

Blackouts On Bally Sports North

Note that many of those based in Wisconsin will experience blackouts of Twins and Timberwolves games. That is because that state has its own teams in those sports: the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks.

However, viewers situated close to the Twin Cities (eg, in Eau Claire) will get all of the broadcasts of Minnesota-based teams as well as the Brewers and Bucks on Bally Sports Wisconsin.

Another consideration to make is that Golden Gophers sports events other than men’s hockey games are rarely shown on Bally Sports North.

The same is true for its coverage area’s other athletics programs that have at least one NCAA Division I team: North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Bemidji State, Minnesota Duluth, Minnesota State, St Cloud State, and St Thomas.

Programming that fills out Bally Sports North’s schedule is related to other sports as varied as snowmobiling, fishing, poker, surfing, auto racing, and tennis.

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Bally Sports North Plus

Considering how many teams are featured on Bally Sports North, it is understandable that a second channel needed to be created: Bally Sports North Plus. This handles situations in which two games that Bally Sports North has rights to are being played simultaneously.

In fact, three of those teams playing at the same time happens on occasion, which is most apt to occur in April. In those cases, The CW Twin Cities (WUCW) takes on the role of Bally Sports Extra.

The CW is also available to DIRECTV STREAM subscribers who are located in or near the Twin Cities. The other option is to use your credentials and watch with the Bally Sports app.

Bally Sports North Programming

For all live game broadcasts, Bally Sports North offers pre-game and post-game shows. For example, Twins Live Pre-game and Twins Live Post-game run the half-hour before and after Twins games. They provide news and analysis.

Bally Sports North offers other sports. This changes a lot, however. For example, it broadcast most Iowa Wild games in 2021-22 season but isn’t broadcasting any in 2022-23. You will also see NCAA sports on the channel but this is hit and miss.

Finally, Bally Sports North airs shows. For example, they offer The Rally, Bally Sports‘ daily news and discussion show. Live on the Line is a daily sports gambling show. There are a limited number of Bally Sports North-specific shows like Inside the Twins. And there are lots of general sporting and outdoors shows that the channel licenses.

Commentators

Dick Bremer is a long-time broadcaster who has served as the Minnesota Twins‘ play-by-play commentator for nearly four decades. He is usually joined by Justin Morneau while Jim Kaat, Glen Perkins, LaTroy Hawkins, and Roy Smalley will sometimes accompany him in the booth. Katie Storm, Audra Martin, and Marney Gellner serve as sideline reporters as well.

Meanwhile, the voice of the Minnesota Timberwolves is Dave Benz. He is joined on the team’s broadcasts by Minnesota native Jim Petersen. Katie Storm and Lea B Olsen serve as reporters for these broadcasts.

The announcer utilizing his vocal abilities to describe the action on the ice at Minnesota Wild games is Anthony LaPanta. Accompanying him are analysts Lou Nanne, Gigi Marvin, Wes Walz, and Ryan Carter while Kevin Gorg contributes to the broadcasts as a reporter.

Above the pitch at Minnesota United matches are Callum Williams (play-by-play) and Kyndra de St Aubin (color commentator).

Michael Pineda - Minnesota Twins
Michael Pineda by Andy Witchger under CC BY 2.0.

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Stream Bally Sports North With DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM

Although there were a few live TV streaming services that carried the previously named Fox Sports North, today, only one does. That’s DIRECTV STREAM.

In order to access this channel, you need to subscribe to its Choice plan, which is available for $89.99/mo. Accompanying that channel are others like the Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FS1, MLB Network, and NBA TV.

Subscribers will generally get at least one other RSN as well, such as Bally Sports Wisconsin, NBC Sports Chicago, or Altitude.

If you want to make the bump up to the Ultimate plan ($104.99/mo), you will also be able to watch CBS Sports Network, FS2, and NHL Network. However, you will not miss many games played by teams in the Bally Sports North broadcast area if you stick with the Choice plan.

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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 began testing a direct-to-consumer streaming service, Bally Sports+. And as of September 26th, 2022, Bally Sports+ is available to all qualified subscribers.

There are two plans:

  • Monthly: $19.99
  • Yearly: $189.99

For this, you get access to whatever Bally Sports channels broadcast in your area. In most cases, this will be one but could be more. For example, subscribers in Minneapolis will get access to Bally Sports North and Bally Sports Wisconsin.

You can use the service directly through the website, BallySports.com. Or you have a few options for devices: Amazon Fire TV, Android TV-compatible TVs, tvOS, and mobile devices with iOS (iPhone, iPad) or Android.

Cord-cutters should be glad to have this extra option. At the same time, we aren’t convinced that it’s that helpful for most sports fans. It is limited to Bally Sports channels. If you want other channels like ESPN and FS1, you will need to combine it with a live TV streaming service like Sling TV.

And if you live someplace like Northern Iowa, you may want to go with DIRECTV STREAM because it also offers the RSNs Marquee Sports Network (Chicago Cubs) and NBC Sports Chicago (Chicago White Sox, Chicago Blackhawks). (You could combine Bally Sports+ with FuboTV as well since it also offers these channels.)

Alternatives to Bally Sports North

If you are in the Bally Sports North broadcast area, you generally have no other options if you are looking to watch the Twins, Timberwolves, Wild, or United FC as often as possible.

However, if you would like to simply make sure that you catch those teams’ biggest games, such as important playoff contests or other nationally televised games, your options open up.

Other streaming services provide access to all or nearly all national television outlets that will be showing those games. The main channels are Fox, FS1, TBS, TNT, and ESPN. The main providers include FuboTV ($69.99/mo), Hulu + Live TV ($69.99/mo), Sling TV ($35/mo), and Vidgo ($59.95/mo).

Also, note that Minnesota Golden Gophers games are often shown on the Big Ten Network. Many of the exceptions to that general rule are related to the school’s football and men’s basketball teams. Several of those games are instead on ABC, Fox, CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and FS1.

Fans who are not blacked out can subscribe to out-of-market broadcasts of their favorite Minnesota-based teams through services such as MLB.TV ($24.99/mo), NBA League Pass ($28.99/mo), and ESPN+ ($6.99/mo). The latter option provides access to out-of-market broadcasts of Wild and United FC games.

Romain Metanire Minnesota United FC
Romain Metanire Minnesota United FC by Andy Witchger under CC BY 2.0.

Streaming Devices for Bally Sports North

You can run DIRECTV STREAM on most devices to watch Bally Sports North. Most models of Samsung smart TVs are supported. So are the popular “stick” devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV.

You can also watch on smartphones running iOS or Android. You can also cast from them directly to your TV via a Chromecast (built-in or external device). And, of course, you can watch it on most web browsers. DIRECTV STREAM also offers their own device, which is $120 flat or $5/mo.

As mentioned above, you can also watch on the Bally Sports App. It works on most of the devices discussed above along with the Xbox One and Android TV compatible devices.

Wrapping Up

If you are in the Bally Sports North broadcast area and want access to that channel and its coverage of the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Wild, and Minnesota United FC while ditching cable, you need to subscribe to DIRECTV STREAM ($89.99/mo). A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.

FAQs

Can I subscribe directly to Bally Sports North?

As of September 26th, 2022, you can subscribe to Bally Sports North directly for $19.99/mo — assuming you are in its broadcast area. Those in most parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas will also get Bally Sports Wisconsin (but note blackout limitations above. If you also want other live TV channels, you are probably better getting Bally Sports North through DIRECTV STREAM ($89.99/mo).

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Does FuboTV come with Bally Sports North?

Bally Sports North is not available through FuboTV nor is any other of the Bally Sports channels. You could, of course, combine FuboTV with Bally Sports+. In areas where FuboTV offers other RSNs, this might make more sense than going with DIRECTV STREAM depending upon exactly which channel you want.

Does Hulu + Live TV offer Bally Sports North?

Hulu + Live TV does not offer many RSNs outside the stand NBC Sports channels. It does, however, offer a great lineup of 85+ live channels including most of what you would expect from a great cable plan. Additionally, it comes with ESPN+ and Disney+ for $69.99/mo.

Can I get Bally Sports North with YouTube TV?

You cannot get any Bally Sports channels through YouTube TV. It offers a great selection of local and national channels but when it comes to RSNs, it includes only what you get from Hulu + Live TV. But you will find more than enough sports to watch with its plan.

What happened to Fox Sports North?

On March 31, 2021, all of the country’s Fox Sports affiliates became Bally Sports ones. This occurred just prior to MLB’s opening day. On April 1, Bally Sports North broadcast its first game under its new name: the Twins season-opening contest in Wisconsin versus the Brewers.

How can I watch the Twins’ divisional rivals?

See the following pages to stream other American League Central teams:

How can I watch the Wild’s divisional rivals?

For information about the other teams in the Central Division, see these articles:

How can I watch the Timberwolves’ divisional rivals?

For information about the other teams in the Northwest Division, see these articles:

How can I watch the United’s conference rivals?

The other teams in the Western Conference can be similar streamed. See the following:

How can I watch channels other than Bally Sports North without cable?

Check out the guides below for information on watching them without cable:

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