Sinclair Broadcasting, Casino Firm Bally's in $85M Licensing Deal

Sinclair, in an $85 million license deal with casino firm Bally's, will rename a sports-network portfolio as Bally Sports.
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Sinclair Broadcasting Group  (SBGI) - Get Report said that it signed a licensing deal with casino firm Bally's Corp.  (BALY) - Get Report and would rename 21 regional sports networks as Bally Sports. 

The Hunt Valley, Md., company signed a 10-year $85 million licensing deal with casino operator Bally's Corp. The deal gives the gambling company the naming rights to the sports networks.

Sinclair purchased the networks from Fox. 

The 21-sports-network portfolio gives Bally's access to the fans of 42 professional sports teams. 

The goal is to enable viewers to eventually be able to bet on games directly from their televisions using a Bally's online tool, sources told the New York Post. 

Separately, Bally's, Providence, R.I., is also buying sports-betting-software company Bet.Works for about $100 million, doubling down on its sports-betting play. 

Earlier this month, Sinclair said it wrote down the value of its regional sports networks by $4.23 billion.

Sinclair paid $9.6 billion in August 2019 for 21 regional sports channels that were once part of Fox. In a quarterly earnings call on Wednesday, the broadcaster said the value of those assets have shrunk by almost half.

Sinclair has failed to secure contracts from Hulu  (DIS) - Get Report and YouTube  (GOOGL) - Get Report to carry the channels.

Chief Executive Chris Ripley said during the call that subscriber losses for the sports channels have been “higher than what we expected,” Bloomberg reported.

However, Ripley added that the company sees growth for the networks outside the traditional pay-TV business, including through legalized sports betting and a direct-to-consumer offering that would bypass cable-TV distributors.