MLB has been looking to expand viewership and boost interest in the sport. This comes at a time of a tangible decline in audiences and somewhat slowing interest among core demographics of the sport.
MLB’s Minor League to Stream on Bally’s App
As reported by The New York Post, MLB has sold the rights of all 120 minor league teams to Bally’s Corp which will offer games involving the team for free through its dedicated Bally Live app.
This comes at what may be seen as a significant cost for MLB, as last year’s premium subscription ran at $29.99 with the games available straight at MLB’s At Bat Live app. The league has reconsidered, however, sources said, thinking that making the sport more readily available and not hidden behind a paywall is a better way to connect with audiences in general.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred believes that this is the right way forward as well, although the deal itself bears an unknown price tag. In other words, Bally did pay for the rights to broadcast the games for free, which is good for MLB either way.
Bally’s is also a good choice. The company has around 750,000 monthly online users, and another 500,000 monthly retail customers. The New York Post also cited a presentation shared by MLB which explained that the deal strengthened the league’s distribution opportunities across both digital and retail, leading to better gamification, a term that sports betting companies have used to describe free-to-play solutions designed to get more people into betting.
Gamification, a Saving Grace for the Sport
Bally’s will introduce various contests that will allow fans to participate for free and connect with the sport. “Baseball Bingo” is one of the options that fans can experience while also having a chance to win Bally’s Rewards points as they play. The free games are not yet live, and they will take some time before they roll out. The games are expected to arrive on April 15.
Bally’s moving in to distribute free content after Diamond Sports, the regional sports network that originally held the rights to broadcast 10 MLB teams, went belly up and filed for bankruptcy. With interest in sports betting growing, MLB hopes that it can leverage free content and gamification features to shift the limelight back to