Bally’s Corporation signs off on MiLB media and fantasy partnership

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Bally’s Corporation has confirmed its multi-year agreement with Minor League Baseball (MiLB) to become the league’s first national media rightsholder and fantasy gaming partner. 

Under the provisions of the agreement, Bally’s will have the rights to stream live broadcasts of MiLB games across its digital platforms and its Bally’s Live app. 

SBC Americas reported last week that Bally’s was gearing up to launch MiLB streaming on Bally’s Live, the firm’s OTT platform boasting fan engagement tools. 

Bally’s taking MiLB content live on new app

With the corporation now confirming the deal, MiLB games will become available on the new app, as well as a poker live stream titled ‘Live at the Bike’ and the AVP beach volleyball league, along with a channel called ‘Karate Combat’.

Bally Live will broadcast every game throughout the entire MiLB season, which kicks off tonight with Toledo Mud Hens vs St. Paul Saints. 

Under further terms, Bally’s media rights extend further across select partner-owned linear and over-the-air channels, including RSNs. 

This is pertinent given that the Bally’s Sports brand, operated by Diamond Sports Group, recently went into bankruptcy, putting the brand’s relationship with MLB at risk. Bally’s Sports streams MLB games on RSNs nationwide. 

Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally’s Corporation Board of Directors, said: “This exciting partnership presents a remarkable opportunity for Bally’s, MiLB, and the league’s teams to come together and collaborate on delivering an exceptional experience for MiLB’s more than 30 million fans across 120 teams and ballparks. 

“With a rich legacy of innovation, Bally’s is dedicated to leveraging its expertise to elevate engagement and create truly immersive experiences that are sure to captivate and delight MiLB fans.”

Free-to-play game sand MiLB Rundown continuation

The deal also sees Bally’s become the league’s fantasy and gaming partner, meaning the operator will create free-to-play gaming content across its digital assets. 

Though both parties have indicated this deal is fresh, Bally’s did produce the MiLB Rundown F2P game last season, so this part of the deal appears to be a renewal. 

However, updated terms see the operator offer players new activities such as F2P, trivia and prediction games, with players able to win rewards including Bally Buck, which can be redeemed in the Bally Live app. 

“We couldn’t be more pleased to have Bally’s Corporation as an Official Partner of MiLB,” said Kenny Gersh, Executive Vice President, Media and Business Development for Major League Baseball. 

“Since assuming operations of Minor League Baseball in 2021, we’ve focused on growing the reach and awareness of our impressive young prospects and iconic MiLB teams. Bally’s Corporation will be a critical partner for us in achieving that goal, providing extensive distribution of live MiLB broadcasts and enhancing the fan experience with fun and predictive free-to-play, fantasy, and real-money games that uphold the integrity of the sport.”

What can we take from this deal?

Despite the closening of ties between MiLB and Bally’s, it is worth noting that Bally’s sportsbook does not currently offer wagers on MiLB fixtures. 

However, this does continue current trends as the sporting and entertainment industries continue to come closer together through these partnerships. 

SBC’s Director of Sponsorship, George Harborne, broke down this deal and offered some insight into the closeness of the sporting and media sectors. 

Harborne stated: “This is an innovative and exciting partnership that continues to demonstrate the ongoing convergence of fashion, music, media, and sport – with this agreement covering the final two of those categories. 

“We have seen historically, the move from media into sports betting, with the likes of Sky, Fox, LiveScore, DAZN, and others taking that journey internationally. However this announcement bucks that trend, instead seeing the continuation and consolidation of a transition from the gambling industry to media by providing a significant boost to Bally’s Live OTT proposition. 

“This partnership gives Bally’s a genuinely unique partnership to activate and creates purposeful engagement touchpoints with sports fans for crossover promotion, often seen as difficult to create in a truly authentic sense. 

“As the industry looks with intrigue at the development of Fanatics’ unique potential crossover opportunities in the fashion and merchandise space, Bally’s has just created their own unique vertical with this exciting partnership.”