Minnesota Twins fans might have to adjust how they catch games on television next season and beyond.
A report this week indicated that Sinclair is going bankrupt, which means the future of Bally Sports North is uncertain. BSN has been the television broadcast home of Minnesota Twins games since 2019 when Fox Sports regional networks were sold as part of Disney offloading properties it acquired in a merger with 20th Century Fox.
That’s why Fox Sports North rebranded to Bally Sports North, but it initially seemed to be a change in name only. All of the familiar faces from the FSN days ported over to BSN, with Dick Bremer calling games in the booth and folks like Marney Gellner doing exactly what she was doing before as well. Even the studio inside of LaSalle Plaza also stayed in the same place, but just rebranded along with everything else.
But then things changed. Sinclair stopped negotiating with television providers and raised prices through the roof for streamers like YouTube TV, Fubo, and others. This meant fans who cut the chord couldn’t watch Twins games — or Wolves or Wild games — on BSN unless it was on satellite. Sinclair launched an app to try and combat this but it cost $20 a month and was a complete disaster from the start.
Go figure that they’re going bankrupt.
With Sinclair going under, and Bally Sports likely going away as a result, the question becomes where will Twins fans be able to watch games?
How to watch Minnesota Twins TV broadcast if Bally Sports North goes bankrupt?
It’s worth pointing out that there’s coprapte levels to this, which are boring and dry but important to sorting this mess out. Sinclair purchased the Fox Sports regional sports networks in 2019, which are owned by Diamond Sports Group LLC.
So if we’re being technical, BSN isn’t going bankrupt rather its parent company is. BSN is just a property owned by Diamond Sports Group LLC, which is part of Sinclair’s portfolio. And to be perfectly clear, everyone outside of the Twins are in trouble here are in danger.
Gross. But now the good stuff.
The knee-jerk was hilarious gloom-and-doom.
It’s easy to chuckle at that, since we all remember what it was like to watch the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament on KSTP digital channels, but it’s only funny until you realize it highlights how uncertain the future looks.
What happens next largely depends on what Diamond Sports Group LLC does. The most likely scenario, and the most ideal for Twins fans, is that DSG ends its contracts and reverts broadcast rights back to the teams. This would mean the Twins could create their own broadcast network, not unlike what the Chicago Cubs did with Marquee or the New York Yankees did with YES.
Such a scenario would mean the team directly negotiates deals with cable providers in Minnesota, which would likely mean a return to almost every package available to viewers in the state. It could also mean the launching of a streaming service that provides Twins games, which again is in the mold of Marquee in Chicago.
Fans outside of Twins Territory have the easiest fix, as MLB.tv is still an option to catch games.