Sinclair Inks Sports-Betting Deal With Bally’s, Will Rebrand RSNs Under Bally’s Name
The 10-year deal is reportedly worth $85 million and will boost betting content across the RSNs
Sinclair Broadcast Group has inked a 10-year deal with Bally’s to rebrand its 21 Fox Sports RSNs using the Bally’s name and integrate sports-betting/gaming content across the networks. The deal is worth $85 million over 10 years, according to the New York Post. In addition, Sinclair will receive warrants to purchase a 14.9% stake in the company and additional warrants and options to purchase 15% more in the future.
Bally’s and Sinclair will partner to create sports-gamification content on a national scale via Sinclair’s portfolio of broadcast stations and RSNs, Tennis Channel, Stadium digital and OTA network, and STIRR direct-to-consumer streaming app. The move sets the stage for Sinclair to further gamify live sports and provide audiences an interactive viewing experience. The deal is also expected to position Bally’s to capture a larger share of the fast-growing U.S. sports-betting and iGaming market.
Bally’s will integrate content into the 190 television stations that Sinclair owns, operates, or provides services to across 88 markets, as well as its sports networks. This will allow Sinclair and Bally’s to jointly market, design, and integrate products on a state-by-state basis and deliver online gaming experiences to local audiences.
The Sinclair partnership — along with Bally’s acquisition of Bet.Works’ iGaming platform, growing market access, and land-based footprint that will soon cover 10 states, with additional states expected to come — positions Bally’s to capture a significant share of the estimated $50 billion future U.S. sports-betting and iGaming-market opportunity.
The transaction will provide Bally’s extensive access to Sinclair’s network of local, live sports content as the unified network brand and integrated partner across 21 RSNs, accounting for more than half of MLB, NBA, and NHL teams. Bally’s will also have premium integration opportunities across Tennis Channel, Stadium, and STIRR.
“Since acquiring Tennis Channel a few years ago and the RSNs last year,” says Sinclair President/CEO Chris Ripley, “we have been working on developing an innovative experience that changes the way people think about and view live sports across all our platforms. Bally’s — with its strong brand name, premier sportsbook-technology platform, and expansive market access — is the perfect partner to help us change the paradigm of sports viewing across all our assets.
“[With] gamification elements that allow audiences a more personalized and interactive game experience,” he continues, “consumers of live sports in the future can look forward to a more dynamic and engaging sports-viewing experience. With the U.S. sports-betting and iGaming market expected to ultimately reach about $50 billion at maturity, this partnership perfectly positions our sports portfolio to fully capitalize on changing audience behavior.”
Over the 10-year term of the agreement, Sinclair’s RSN portfolio will receive annual naming-rights fees and committed percentage of Bally’s Interactive’s marketing spend. As part of the deal, Sinclair will receive warrants and options (subject to regulatory approval and other conditions) to own a minority stake in Bally’s. Sinclair will receive penny warrants to acquire 14.9% of Bally’s common shares as well as warrants to purchase up to an additional 10% of Bally’s common shares, contingent on the achievement of various performance metrics. Sinclair will also receive options to purchase 5% of Bally’s common shares in four tranches, with purchase prices starting at $30/share and escalating to $45/share, exercisable after four years.
“This arrangement represents an opportunity to revolutionize the U.S. sports-betting, gaming, and media industries,” says Soo Kim, chairman, Board of Directors, Bally’s Corp. “Sinclair, with its broad holdings of stations, channels, and RSNs, provides immediate, national brand recognition that will support the development of Bally’s player database for both our traditional casinos and our future online offerings and will ultimately deliver significant shareholder value. We look forward to integrating our first-in-class, omni-channel sports-betting and iGaming offerings with Sinclair’s expansive broadcast network to create a more engaging and tailored experience for sports fans, positioning Bally’s to become one of the top U.S. sports-betting and iGaming operators.”