Twins fans get official update on the future of Bally Sports North

  • Diamond/Bally Sports filed for bankruptcy in March
  • Twins contract with Diamond/Bally Sports expires after 2023 season
Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins
Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

One of the undercurrents of drama in the Minnesota Twins season has been where the game will be broadcast for fans to watch at home.

For as tough as the Twins have been this season, it's been even tougher to actually watch them.

Back in March, Bally Sports North's parent company Diamond Sports filed for bankruptcy and ceased making payments to as many as eight teams around the league. The Twins were one of those teams and took Diamond to court for the $54.8 million it was owed for the rights to this season's games.

While that sounds like boring courtroom fodder, it meant a potentially massive impact on fans. If Diamond Sports went belly-up and Bally Sports North lost the rights -- or the literal ability to broadcast games -- where would fans be able to watch the Twins?

MLB said it would step in and make sure Twins fans could still watch games, but it was still a weird position for fans to be in. It now seems there's been somewhat of a resolution, at least for the short term.

Twins games to stay on Bally Sports North through end of season

According to the Star Tribune, Bally Sports North will continue to broadcast Twins games for at least the rest of this current season.

That was the absolute bare minimum expectation from fans for Diamond Sports. They paid for the rights to Twins games, so they needed to both make good on their payments and the obligation to broadcast.

The future beyond that is a little murkier.

While Bally Sports North guaranteeing that games will be broadcast should be good news, Twins fans will be the first to tell you that their word is hardly their bond. It's been nearly impossible to watch games without some sort of issue, which is part of the reason why Bally Sports North potentially losing the rights to Twins broadcasts could be a blessing in disguise.

When all of this dust was initially kicked up, the idea of a team owned streaming service was brought up. Essentially, rather than sell the rights to game broadcasts the Twins could launch their own network like the Yankees and YES or the Cubs and Marquee.

It would mean a direct consumer revenue stream where fans paid the Twins for the streaming service the same way they do the box office for tickets. No third party, hopefully, no headaches. Talent currently on Bally Sports North could be retained as part of this too, which means Dick Bremer, Marney Gellner, and the whole crew would still be the voices of Twins baseball.

Bally Sports North has an app but it's a total and utter dumpster fire. The Twins launching their own network could mean a much more user-friendly mobile experience and potentially the opportunity to buy games à la carte.

The possibilities seem both endless and far better than what fans have to deal with now.

For now, Bally Sports North is going to be remain the home of Twins baseball, but the door appears to be open for a brighter and better future.