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Bally Sports exploring stand-alone app


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$23/month is a non-starter.  Maybe if it included all of the Bally networks, but I can't imagine that the leagues would go for that.  And this is coming from a Hulu subscriber that has watched every other team in MLB multiple times and caught maybe two Twins games.  

I've been perfectly content with catching the random game or just listening on the radio.  They're certainly not snaring me with that ridiculous price point.

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The price is not egregious, no. The biggest issue I have with the price is that it is not a replacement to the streaming package with which I previously could watch BSN (Youtube TV, then Hulu, then TVision, finally back to Youtube TV), but it is now in addition to that price.

Hulu and YouTube TV eliminated BSN from their packages in lieu of passing that cost on to their consumers. I don't know what the carrier fee was previously, but $23 per month clearly is a significant increase or they wouldn't have dropped them.

If ESPN or Fox Sports had a stand-alone service to compare price points, I might be more excited about Bally's price. If I could choose to drop about 40 channels from Youtube TV to cover the cost of BSN, I would certainly be more excited.

I was expecting this option to be available around the price of HBO Max or similar add-on channels; 50% higher gives me a little pause.

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No, and not just because teams like the Twins and Timberwolves stink. These corporations are blinded by $$$$ and don't care about the average fan. They can keep their services. Even the services I have kept keep changing their user agreements, i.e. Sirius making you upgrade to get MLB, NFL and others. Plus CBS, AMC, NBC, Paramount and others offering shows only on upgraded channels/apps.

I cut the cord for a reason and it isn't to keep paying for apps that will make me pay more for internet TV than I would have to pay for Satellite (I live in the sticks with the rocks and cows, cable TV isn't an option).

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45 minutes ago, JW24 said:

I was expecting this option to be available around the price of HBO Max or similar add-on channels; 50% higher gives me a little pause.

The higher price point makes sense here though. First of all, it is regional — Bally is only in 21 markets I think? While HBO can market nationally (and internationally). Presumably, MLBTV will still be selling the games everywhere else too.

Second, sports are seasonal and require live (or near live) viewing — for example, a baseball-only fan would never subscribe to this service for at least 5 months out of the year. Third, sport interest is tied to performance. Team starts slow, subscriptions will drop. A lot of casual fans may not bother subscribing until later in the season, and only if their team is competitive.

So it doesn’t surprise me that HBO could be cheaper than BSN.

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On 6/11/2021 at 11:41 AM, wsnydes said:

$23/month is a non-starter. 

 

18 hours ago, TheLeviathan said:

Quadruple the price of Disney Plus you say?  Good luck to those investors.

Seems close to the price of Sportsnet’s standalone streaming service in Canada.

And if the retail full season price of MLBTV is $130, it seems reasonable that the blacked out games could be worth that much by themselves.

Not for everyone, of course, although it could expand its subscriber base if it offers yearly discounts as well as monthly and weekly passes like Sportsnet.

And keep in mind, it doesn’t have to  add to your current stable of streaming services but it could be added to the rotation. For example, if the Twins are good, I can drop Netflix ($14/month for their HD plan) and pick up Bally for a little while.

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3 hours ago, spycake said:

 

Seems close to the price of Sportsnet’s standalone streaming service in Canada.

And if the retail full season price of MLBTV is $130, it seems reasonable that the blacked out games could be worth that much by themselves.

Not for everyone, of course, although it could expand its subscriber base if it offers yearly discounts as well as monthly and weekly passes like Sportsnet.

And keep in mind, it doesn’t have to  add to your current stable of streaming services but it could be added to the rotation. For example, if the Twins are good, I can drop Netflix ($14/month for their HD plan) and pick up Bally for a little while.

Right, I guess that I see it as I'm already paying for it via Hulu since my subscription didn't decrease when they pulled it.  So paying another $23 on top of that is essentially paying for it twice.  And since it's just the one network, that's much harder to justify.  In my opinion anyway.  Obviously, others may disagree.

And I've made due just fine with how I've adapted, so paying that much a month is not something I'm interested in.  But, I realize that is just me.  Everyone is in a different situation.

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On 6/11/2021 at 9:34 PM, TheLeviathan said:

Quadruple the price of Disney Plus you say?  Good luck to those investors.

Actually, it's going to work so very well. This is what's going to kill cable.

Is it overpriced? Yes, almost definitely. Will I pay it? Yes, without hesitation.

AT&T Online is $92/mo so I can watch baseball for six months. I literally watch zero things other than sports, ever.

$23/mo? Hell, I'll probably stick around for Wolves and Wild now, too.

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14 hours ago, wsnydes said:

Right, I guess that I see it as I'm already paying for it via Hulu since my subscription didn't decrease when they pulled it.  So paying another $23 on top of that is essentially paying for it twice.  And since it's just the one network, that's much harder to justify.  In my opinion anyway.  Obviously, others may disagree.

And I've made due just fine with how I've adapted, so paying that much a month is not something I'm interested in.  But, I realize that is just me.  Everyone is in a different situation.

That’s fair, it will be different for everyone.

But it is clear that some folks were on Hulu Live TV or YouTube TV (or cable, or satellite) primarily for live sports. Those folks could drop those plans if they haven’t already and pick up this Bally service during their desired sports season(s). Some could supplement with over-the-air broadcasts, a “skinny” live TV service like Philo, or just move further toward on-demand consumption of non-sports content.

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22 hours ago, Brock Beauchamp said:

Actually, it's going to work so very well. This is what's going to kill cable.

Is it overpriced? Yes, almost definitely. Will I pay it? Yes, without hesitation.

AT&T Online is $92/mo so I can watch baseball for six months. I literally watch zero things other than sports, ever.

$23/mo? Hell, I'll probably stick around for Wolves and Wild now, too.

It may kill cable, but that's a wounded animal already.  

It's important to consider what access people have.  In many areas of these markets decent enough wi-fi for streaming is still not available.  People have cable and dishes, in part, because there just isn't the means to make live streaming feasible.  It's also competing with another streaming option already in existence in MLB.TV as well as what the NHL and NBA offer.   (Including the NHL which doesn't block radio streaming) Is $23 better than $92? Sure.  But that $92 included a lot more than a channel you want basically for one isolated viewing experience that only occurs, at best, for a few hours a day.   I imagine if this does anything it spikes pirating cuz $0 is way better than either option and isn't hard to do.

IMO, they should offer it at a much lower price initially and then ramp up over time.  Get people's feet in the door rather than a price tag that might turn people off right away.  

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9 hours ago, TheLeviathan said:

 

IMO, they should offer it at a much lower price initially and then ramp up over time.  Get people's feet in the door rather than a price tag that might turn people off right away.  

This is the exact business model that makes everybody dislike their cable company. New customers pay less while long time customers get rewarded for their loyalty with rising prices. This matrix creates animus and it's why when people do cut the cord they do so joyfully; "adios suckers!" 

We were on Sling for $35 a month until the season started. Now it's $92 with AT&TTV. 26 plus 35 that's $61 bucks and a better deal. I would welcome it. The caveat is I'm getting 20 hours of DVR for that $92 which is the only way to fly. FF the commercials, rewind important plays, watch when you want. If Bally's doesn't offer DVR I've got a conundrum. 

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46 minutes ago, wabene said:

This is the exact business model that makes everybody dislike their cable company. New customers pay less while long time customers get rewarded for their loyalty with rising prices. This matrix creates animus and it's why when people do cut the cord they do so joyfully; "adios suckers!" 

We were on Sling for $35 a month until the season started. Now it's $92 with AT&TTV. 26 plus 35 that's $61 bucks and a better deal. I would welcome it. The caveat is I'm getting 20 hours of DVR for that $92 which is the only way to fly. FF the commercials, rewind important plays, watch when you want. If Bally's doesn't offer DVR I've got a conundrum. 

I would imagine you wouldn't have DVR, it would just be on demand streaming which cuts out those things automatically.  

And I would guess that regardless of opening price point you will see it increase.  :)

 

I do see your point on sling though.  This whole thing seems mostly about AT&T having a stupid price point.

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58 minutes ago, wabene said:

The caveat is I'm getting 20 hours of DVR for that $92 which is the only way to fly. FF the commercials, rewind important plays, watch when you want. If Bally's doesn't offer DVR I've got a conundrum. 

It won’t be “DVR” in that you won’t tell it to record, but there could be a way to watch completed games, or to start live games from the beginning, and skip ahead or back in such games. I think the old Fox Sports Go had some functionality like that. Sounds like the initial Bally app doesn’t allow that this season but of course it’s not a standalone service yet either.

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11 minutes ago, spycake said:

It won’t be “DVR” in that you won’t tell it to record, but there could be a way to watch completed games, or to start live games from the beginning, and skip ahead or back in such games. I think the old Fox Sports Go had some functionality like that. Sounds like the initial Bally app doesn’t allow that this season but of course it’s not a standalone service yet either.

As long as there is that kind of functionality that would be fine.

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10 hours ago, TheLeviathan said:

IMO, they should offer it at a much lower price initially and then ramp up over time.  Get people's feet in the door rather than a price tag that might turn people off right away.  

That is exactly what all of the streaming TV providers have done, like Sling, YouTube TV, AT&T TV, etc. People seem to hate it and use the early initial price as a benchmark, but those services were pioneers, started when consumers were largely unfamiliar with streaming TV. And their ultimate cost was going to be much higher. It would have been harder to convince people to jump to a new service called YouTube TV at $65 if their cable bill was already $85 or something. Hence the heavy initial discount.

I don’t think Bally has to do that, not at the suggested price point. Consumers already know what streaming TV is now and $23 is competitive for a good segment of them — there is certainly nothing comparable for RSN access. I am sure the price will change a bit over time, like Netflix and general inflation, but I don’t think they should have to artificially hike it up to $23 in phases.

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23 minutes ago, spycake said:

That is exactly what all of the streaming TV providers have done, like Sling, YouTube TV, AT&T TV, etc. People seem to hate it and use the early initial price as a benchmark, but those services were pioneers, started when consumers were largely unfamiliar with streaming TV. And their ultimate cost was going to be much higher. It would have been harder to convince people to jump to a new service called YouTube TV at $65 if their cable bill was already $85 or something. Hence the heavy initial discount.

I don’t think Bally has to do that, not at the suggested price point. Consumers already know what streaming TV is now and $23 is competitive for a good segment of them — there is certainly nothing comparable for RSN access. I am sure the price will change a bit over time, like Netflix and general inflation, but I don’t think they should have to artificially hike it up to $23 in phases.

So your argument is that Bally will be the one streaming service that won't do that because.....good charity?  Their heart has grown two sizes?  Baked into the idea that they are introducing it at $23 is the idea that they'll hike it as they figure out who is willing.  That's part of the business model.  Plus, this entire situation is predicated on the idea that they are trying to squeeze people who are high demand, don't know how else to view sports, have limited options, or just don't know what they're doing.  $92 for AT&T's crap service screams predatory market.  That's what this is: an attempt to appear less predatory by having a lower price tag for dramatically less in return. 

Yet it's functionally the equivalent of telling Netflix you'd like to pay double for their service for two episodes of Breaking Bad a night and nothing more.  Like...lock everything else out...that's all I want to get....here's double what you asked.  The flaw in your argument stems from a comparison of "competitive" that centers on a predatory market with terrible price points.  No definition of reasonable makes sense unless you accept AT&T as a reasonable point of comparison.  I don't accept that, those guys are gouging anyone that signed up. 

But when Bally Sports weeds through the non-MLB.TV, streaming capable, non-dish, non-cable, non-pirating folks to whatever band of people is left....they'll know they have people willing to pay more if they already signed up for $23.  If the service survives long enough to price hike, they'll price hike.  

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1 hour ago, TheLeviathan said:

So your argument is that Bally will be the one streaming service that won't do that because.....good charity?  Their heart has grown two sizes?

Live TV streaming packages are quite a bit different from other streaming services. Notably the price is much higher due to all the channels (it's basically a cable or satellite replacement), so there's more benefit to offering a low initial price -- just like cable and satellite companies do -- as compared to a sub-$25 niche streaming service doing the same.

I'm sure the price may change as they figure out their subscriber base -- these are uncharted waters for RSNs here in the US. Although FWIW, Sportsnet Now has been around for 5 years in Canada at a pretty consistent price point. Sportsnet has some unique conditions in Canada, but it's probably not an accident that Bally is considering a similar price to start.

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1 hour ago, TheLeviathan said:

Plus, this entire situation is predicated on the idea that they are trying to squeeze people who are high demand, don't know how else to view sports, have limited options, or just don't know what they're doing.  $92 for AT&T's crap service screams predatory market.  That's what this is: an attempt to appear less predatory by having a lower price tag for dramatically less in return. 

Increasingly people don't want the "quantity" provided by live TV channel bundlers like cable, satellite, AT&T TV, etc. Even at less than $92/month, it's not good value for a lot of consumers anymore.

That's why Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and other services seem to be flourishing. Bally should be able to position itself around those services (even if their price is a bit higher). Of course, it remains to be seen whether this subscription cost can support the rights fees -- that's where propping up the Bally gambling business comes into play, I suspect.

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18 minutes ago, spycake said:

Increasingly people don't want the "quantity" provided by live TV channel bundlers like cable, satellite, AT&T TV, etc. Even at less than $92/month, it's not good value for a lot of consumers anymore.

That's why Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and other services seem to be flourishing. Bally should be able to position itself around those services (even if their price is a bit higher). Of course, it remains to be seen whether this subscription cost can support the rights fees -- that's where propping up the Bally gambling business comes into play, I suspect.

They are not a "bit" higher.  They are multiples higher.  You can't on one hand argue the price is competitive with cable then turn around and argue the streaming benefits and wish wash between the two. Your argument tries to have it's cake and eat it too.  Let's stop that please.

This is a non competitive streaming cost.  Point blank.  This idea is competing with services offering a fraction of the price with significantly more content.  The thinking behind it is akin to AT&T's rationale to their non-competitive $92:  "We know what people have to have and we'll gouge them to get it"  In the era of streaming....especially in the streaming market....that idea will utterly fail everytime.  AT&T failed with that mentality in the still legacy-laden cable market much less streaming.  I can link you to the "success" of their pricepoints and offerings if you'd like.  (Hint: their investors weren't rewarded to circle back to my initial joke)

Several other streaming platforms are struggling or merging at, again, pricepoints a half to even a fourth of this cost.  Maybe the gambling thing is a revolution and will drive demand.  Me?  I'll bet they sell their losses to another service within two years or scramble like fools to save their pride when their subscription rates underwhelm.

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