Sinclair officially revealed the revamped lineup of Fox Sports RSNs.
We’ve known for a while that Bally’s had signed up for naming rights in a branding partnership deal, but until now the networks had remained under the Fox Sports moniker (and indeed will continue to do so for a while.) Now, though, we have an overall logo, and we know the markets and how they’ll align. It includes some reshuffling of a few markets, as well.
Via their release:
“We are extremely proud to unveil the Bally Sports logo as it signifies a new, transformative chapter in the regional sports business and is representative of our cohesive partnership with Bally’s,” said Steve Rosenberg, President of Local Sports, Sinclair Broadcast Group. “The upcoming rebrand across our RSN footprint is incredibly exciting, not only for our entire portfolio, but for loyal sports fans across the country.”
Two Fox Sports networks will be merged into nearby regions, rather than carry on as, essentially, one-team networks:
Additionally, two limited part-time channels serving the South region – FOX Sports Carolinas and FOX Sports Tennessee – will be sunset to streamline program offerings. All live games and original programming – namely Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes content – that previously aired under those brands, will reside on Bally Sports South (previously FOX Sports South) and Bally Sports Southeast (previously FOX Sports Southeast), the two full-time networks that service the greater region.
This map helps break down how the new regions and networks look (although, yeah, Cleveland is a bit out of place.)
EXCLUSIVE: @WeAreSinclair and Bally's today will unveil the new names and logos for their 19 regional sports networks.
As part of the rebrand, Sinclair will shut down part-time RSNs FS Tennessee and FS Carolinas (@Ourand_SBJ).
— Sports Business Journal (@sbjsbd) January 27, 2021
This RSN saga has dragged on for years, from the initial news of the Disney-Fox rumor all the way through to now. It’s also pretty interesting to see so many teams are going to be playing games on a network defined and sponsored by a gambling company. It wasn’t that long ago that this would have raised all sorts of controversy, and that it hasn’t (especially not on the Sinclair scale of generating controversy) is just the latest sign of the growing acceptance of legal sports betting.
The changes still won’t be effective for a few months, and there are still distributors who aren’t carrying them due to rights disputes with Sinclair. But for those who have followed the saga, transitioning from the Fox Sports name is certainly a milestone.