After the best and deepest postseason run the Minnesota Twins have gone on since 2002, the entire winter has been laced with excruciatingly burning Lawyer Speak about television rights deals and lost future revenue.
Rather than watch the Twins add meaningful pieces to the roster, fans have had to bear the brunt of Diamond Sports Group going bankrupt and throw offseason plans out of whack. Without a TV deal for next season, Minnesota’s front office was handcuffed thanks to the payroll being slashed. Things eventually loosened up after trading Jorge Polanco and finding some cash to sign Carlos Santana, and it now seems the television issue has been solved.
Notably, Twins fans know where they can catch games next season.
Evan Drellich, who has been all over explaining and reporting on the TV rights drama, passed along word on Friday that a judge had ruled in favor of the proposed Diamond Sports deal for the 2024 season.
That means after all the legal roller coaster we all went on, the Twins will be back on Bally Sports North this year.
Twins will return to Bally Sports North for 2024 season
How much longer they’re there is the next question.
At the very least Twins fans know where to watch games this year. The downside is that Bally Sports North is nearly impossible to stream and has been a source of frustration for years. It’s why the silver lining to the TV rights drama was the potential that Twins games would be broadcast in a more accessible way.
That won’t be the case this year, but the groundwork has been laid for things to improve in the not-so-distant future.
Rob Manfred announced this past week that MLB is targeting 2025 for the launch of a streaming service that will provide regional fans with easy broadcast access to games.
"Realistically, my target to having a digital package I can take to market would be for the '25 season," Manfred said.
MLB already has an app that allows fans to watch any game they want, but the major caveat is that it’s for out-of-market games only and blacks out local broadcasts. This new service would change that and allow fans in the Minnesota market to watch Twins games without having to subscribe to Bally Sports North.
It’s also possible that the Twins launch their own direct-to-consumer streaming service akin to what the Yankees have with YES and the Cubs with Marquee. Given how little we’ve heard of that possibility during all of the Bally Sports drama, it’s unlikely to be something that happens before MLB launches an in-market streaming service.
Still, the possibilities are both endless and much better than what the Twins have now. It’s not exactly thrilling to hear that fans will have to wrestle with Bally Sports North for another year but at least there’s an endgame in sight.