At the beginning of the season, we were hearing rumors about a new direct-to-consumer app being developed by Bally Sports for watching the team channels for the Brewers. Today, they officially announced the App. Branded as Bally Sports+, it will launch on June 23.
The app will cost $19.99 a month or $189.99 a year for a subscription. It’s a price point that seems a bit high, but not completely unreasonable. Earlier this year, NESN launched their own direct-to-consumer app for watching the Boston Red Sox, and that came in at a price point of $29.99 a month. This will be a cheaper service, but we also won’t know the full quality of the service until it launches later this week.
Sinclair is calling this a “soft launch” of the app. Only five MLB teams (Brewers, Tigers, Royals, Marlins, Rays) will be available at the start. 16 NBA teams (including the Milwaukee Bucks) and 12 NHL teams also will be available through the app, though the other MLB teams broadcast by Bally Sports are undetermined for the time being. Features will also be limited early but will continue to be added as the season goes on. There’s also no mention of if there will be geographic limitations to what you can watch, but it is assumed that you will need to be in-market to watch the service.
When it comes to watching the Brewers, it’s been rough going for fans of the team in recent years. More and more TV providers have been dropping sports channels due to high costs for channels that only a handful of their subscribers watch. It can easily run a fan $80 or more a month just to get a TV package that includes the channels now. If this app is successful, it could be a big boon for the many fans who currently don’t have a TV package and want to watch the Brewers again live.
If you’re out of market, it’s also worth noting that the MLB.TV package is still on sale through the end of the day, and you can get that for $57.99 for all teams or $44.99 for a single team. However, blackout rules still exist for it, so you cannot watch through that package if you are in-market.