Bally Sports Southwest
TypeRegional sports network
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaTexas
Arkansas
Northern Louisiana
Eastern New Mexico
Nationwide (via satellite)
NetworkBally Sports
HeadquartersIrving, Texas
Programming
Language(s)English
Picture format720p (HDTV)
480i (SDTV)
Ownership
OwnerDiamond Sports Group (90%)
Texas Rangers (10%)[1]
ParentSinclair Broadcast Group and Entertainment Studios Networks
Sister channelsBally Sports Oklahoma
Bally Sports New Orleans
History
LaunchedJanuary 4, 1983 (1983-01-04)
Former namesHome Sports Entertainment (1983–1995)
Prime Sports Southwest (1995–1996)
Fox Sports Southwest (1996–2000, 2008-2021)
Fox Sports Net Southwest (2000–2004)
FSN Southwest (2004–2008)
Links
Websitewww.ballysports.com/southwest/
Availability
(some events may air on Bally Sports Southwest Extra due to event conflicts)
Streaming media
Bally Sports appwww.ballysports.com/
(U.S. cable internet subscribers only; requires login from participating providers to stream content; some events may not be available due to league rights restrictions)
DirecTV StreamInternet Protocol television
FuboTVInternet Protocol television

Bally Sports Southwest is a Texas-based regional sports network owned by Diamond Sports Group (a joint-venture between Sinclair Broadcast Group and Entertainment Studios), and operates as an affiliate of Bally Sports. The channel broadcasts regional coverage of professional, collegiate and high school sports events throughout the South Central United States. The network is headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Irving, Texas, with master control hubbed at Bally Sports Networks' operations center in Atlanta, which houses master control operations for its regional networks in the Southeastern United States.[2]

Bally Sports Southwest is available on cable providers throughout much of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico; it is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV.

History

Fox Sports Southwest logo, used from 2008 to 2012.

Bally Sports Southwest originally launched on January 4, 1983, as Home Sports Entertainment (HSE), a unit of Warner-Amex Cable.[3] As one of the first regional sports networks in North America, it served as the cable television home of professional and collegiate sports teams throughout Texas and surrounding states. In 1988, HSE became an affiliate of Prime Sports Networks.

Like many Prime Sports-affiliated networks, it shared channel space with other networks on several cable providers in its service area (most often resulting in its programming being restricted to nighttime periods) until the early 1990s, when cable systems began upgrading their headend infrastructures to increase channel capacity, reassigning most of the cable channels that shared time with HSE to other channel slots once these upgrades were complete. In 1994, Liberty Media acquired HSE, converting it into an owned-and-operated affiliate of Prime Sports and changing its name to Prime Sports Southwest.

In 1996, News Corporation, which formed its own sports division for the Fox network two years earlier, acquired a 50% interest in the Prime Network from Liberty Media;[4] the network was officially rebranded as Fox Sports Southwest on November 1 of that year, as part of a relaunch of the Prime Network affiliates as the cornerstones of the new Fox Sports Net.[5] The channel was then rebranded as Fox Sports Net Southwest in 2000, as part of a collective brand modification of the FSN networks under the "Fox Sports Net" banner.

In 2004, the channel shortened its name to FSN Southwest, through the networks' de-emphasis of the brand, before reverting to the Fox Sports Southwest moniker in 2008. In 2007, a high definition simulcast feed of Fox Sports Southwest, which broadcasts in the 720p format was launched. Initially, the channel did not provide a 24-hour simulcast but it broadcast various Mavericks, Rangers, Spurs and Stars games (prior to July 6th, 2024), as well as several NCAA football and basketball games shown nationally on FSN and other programming distributed nationally by Fox Sports Networks in high definition. Today, nearly all programming is shown in HD. In July 2013, News Corporation spun off the Fox Sports Networks and most of its other U.S. entertainment properties into 21st Century Fox.

On December 14, 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced plans to acquire all 22 regional Fox Sports networks from 21st Century Fox as part of their acquisition of Fox, including Fox Sports Southwest. However, on June 27, 2018, the Justice Department ordered their divestment under antitrust grounds, citing Disney's ownership of ESPN (ESPN also owns a stake in the Longhorn Network). On May 3, 2019, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Entertainment Studios (through their joint venture, Diamond Holdings) bought Fox Sports Networks from The Walt Disney Company for $10.6 billion.[6] The deal closed on August 22, 2019, thus placing Fox Sports Southwest in common ownership with 17 Sinclair stations in Texas.[7] On November 17, 2020, Sinclair announced an agreement with casino operator Bally's Corporation to serve as a new naming rights partner for the FSN channels. Sinclair announced the new Bally Sports branding for the channels on January 27, 2021.[8] On March 31, 2021, coinciding with the 2021 Major League Baseball season, Fox Sports Southwest was rebranded as Bally Sports Southwest, resulting in 18 other Regional Sports Networks renamed Bally Sports in their respective regions.[9]

On July 6th, 2024, the Dallas Stars and Bally Sports have mutually agreed to part ways. [10] On July 8th, 2024, the Stars and A Parent Media Co. Inc. have entered a seven-year agreement and plan to launch VICTORY+, a free direct to consumer streaming service that will stream all regional Stars games for fans in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, with a planned launch of September 2024.[11] A local TV deal has yet to be finalized.

Bankruptcy

Further information: Diamond Sports Group § Bankruptcy

On February 15, 2023, Diamond Sports Group, the owner of Bally Sports Southwest, failed to make a $140 million interest payment, instead opting for a 30-day grace period to make the payment.[12] On March 14, 2023, Diamond Sports Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[13]

During its bankruptcy, Diamond missed a payment to the Texas Rangers.[14] On April 5, 2023, the Rangers filed an emergency motion asking the bankruptcy judge to order Diamond to pay the Rangers fully or give its media rights back to Major League Baseball. Diamond argued that because of cord-cutting the contract rate for the media rights of the teams was too high. A hearing on the matter was set for May 31, 2023.[14][15] As an interim, on April 19, the bankruptcy judge ordered Diamond Sports to pay 50% of what the Rangers were owed.[16] On June 1, 2023, after a two day long hearing, the bankruptcy judge ordered Diamond to pay the Rangers fully within five days.[17]

Programming

Bally Sports Southwest holds the exclusive regional cable television rights to the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs of the NBA and the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball. In addition, the channel holds the cable rights to the University Interscholastic League, carrying its Class 6A high school state championship games for football, boys' and girls' basketball, baseball and softball, and the 2A-5A high school football championships. Prior to their move to Las Vegas, Fox Sports Southwest had the rights to the San Antonio Stars of the WNBA. Prior to their move to Henderson, Fox Sports Southwest also carried select games from the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL.

A mix of programs originally supplied by Bally Sports and some original programming exclusive to Bally Sports Southwest (such as High School Spotlight, ″High School Scoreboard Live″ and the Dallas Morning News-co-produced SportsdayOnAir) are also broadcast.

Coverage areas

Bally Sports Southwest has the second-largest market area and total viewer reach of any network in the Bally Sports regional networks group (behind Bally Sports South). Its expansive footprint extends from eastern New Mexico to Panama City, Florida. The network is divided into four broadcasting zones, each representing the five largest television markets in its designated broadcast region:

The separation of broadcast zones for the channel is mostly due to the defined broadcast territories set by the National Basketball Association for four of the region's five NBA franchises – the Dallas Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans (the Houston Rockets are carried on Space City Home Network). In the event of a scheduling conflict between either of the teams (such as Mavericks/Thunder, Mavericks/Spurs, Thunder/Spurs, and sometimes Mavericks/Spurs/Thunder), the games will be shown on their own subfeeds (Thunder on Bally Sports Oklahoma, Spurs or Mavericks on Bally Sports Southwest).

Zone # Region served MLB NBA
Texas Rangers St. Louis Cardinals
(Bally Sports Midwest)
Dallas Mavericks San Antonio Spurs Memphis Grizzlies
(Bally Sports South)
Oklahoma City Thunder
(Bally Sports Oklahoma)
1 Dallas–Fort Worth Yes No Yes No No No
2 Houston Yes No No No No No
3 San Antonio Yes No No Yes No No
4 Arkansas Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Other services

Bally Sports Southwest Extra

Bally Sports Southwest Extra (previously branded as "Bally Sports Southwest Plus") is an alternate channel feed of Bally Sports Southwest used to broadcast select events from teams to which Bally Sports Southwest holds the broadcast rights within the designated market in the event that two or more games scheduled to be broadcast on the channel are held simultaneously, requiring the overflow feed to carry games that cannot air on the main feed.[18]

Bally Sports Southwest streaming options

Bally Sports Southwest is not available on streaming services such as fubotv,[19] Sling, YouTubeTV, or Hulu + live TV,[20] though it is still available on DirecTV Stream only on the Choice package and above.

References

  1. ^ Settimi, Christina (March 21, 2012). "Baseball's Biggest Cable Deals". Forbes. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  2. ^ Dachman, Josh (May 25, 2021). "Behind the Scenes at Sinclair's New Media Operations Center Powering Bally Sports, Marquee Sports, and YES Network". Sports Video Group. Retrieved November 8, 2021.
  3. ^ David Barron (January 5, 2003). "Regional TV venture grew into Fox Sports Southwest". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  4. ^ R. Thomas Umstead (July 8, 1996). "Liberty Sports regionals will become Fox Sports net". Multichannel News. The Walt Disney Company. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  5. ^ "FOX SPORTS NET DEBUTS ON NOV. 1". The Columbian. Columbian Publishing Company. Associated Press. September 13, 1996. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  6. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (May 3, 2019). "Sinclair Clinches Disney-Regional Sports Networks Deal, Byron Allen Joins as Partner". Variety. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  7. ^ "Sinclair completes acquisition of regional sports networks from Disney". Bloomberg. August 22, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  8. ^ Novy-Williams, Eben (November 19, 2020). "Bally's Buys Sinclair RSN Naming Rights As Part of Sports Betting Push". Sportico.com. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  9. ^ "Bally Sports Southwest/Oklahoma/New Orleans FAQ". FOX Sports. FOX Sports Southwest. March 17, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  10. ^ Crupi, Anthony (July 6, 2024). “Stars’ Local TV Deal Goes Supernova as Team and RSN Agree to Split” Sportico.Com. Retrieved July 7, 2024.
  11. ^ "Stars and APMC Pioneer Game-Changing Victory+ Sports Network". Dallas Stars. July 8th, 2024. Retrieved July 8, 2024.
  12. ^ Ourand, John (February 15, 2023). "Diamond Sports Group not making $140M interest payment". Sports Business Journal. Leaders Group. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  13. ^ Hayes, Dade (March 15, 2023). "Diamond Sports Group, Owner Of Bally Networks Once Run By Fox, Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy". Deadline. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  14. ^ a b Grant, Evan (April 19, 2023). "Bally Sports Southwest parent company fails to make April rights payment to Rangers". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  15. ^ McCann, Michael; Crupi, Anthony (April 18, 2023). "Diamond RSN's Missed Payments Spur Late May MLB Court Fight". Sportico. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  16. ^ McCann, Michael; Crupi, Anthony (April 20, 2023). "Diamond RSNs Must Pay 50% To 4 MLB Teams In Bankruptcy Case, For Now". Sportico. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved April 20, 2023.
  17. ^ Gonzalez, Aiden (June 1, 2023). "Diamond Sports Group ordered to fully pay MLB teams' contracts". ESPN. Walt Disney Corporation. Retrieved June 3, 2023.
  18. ^ "TV/Radio Information". Official Dallas Stars Website. Dallas Stars. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  19. ^ "What happened to my FOX Regional Sports Network?". Help Center. Archived from the original on May 29, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  20. ^ Holt, Kris (October 22, 2020). "Hulu's live TV service loses Sinclair-owned regional Fox Sports networks". Engadget. Retrieved October 23, 2020.