Sinclair Broadcast Group has entered into an arrangement with casino operator Bally’s Corporation in which, among other activities, the 21 FOX regional sports network (RSN) brands it owns nationally will be renamed using the name Bally.
The 10-year agreement revealed Wednesday integrates the vertically integrated, patented sports betting technology and vast consumer distribution footprint of Bally’s (formerly known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc.) with Sinclair’s leading portfolio of local radio stations and RSNs, STIRR, its Tennis Channel, and Stadium streaming and over-the-air television network.
Bally’s will incorporate programming into the 190 television stations owned, operated or serviced by Sinclair in 88 markets and its sports networks. This will help Sinclair and Bally’s to sell, design and integrate goods on a state-by-state basis together.
According to Wall Street analyst research and Bally’s management estimates, the Sinclair alliance, along with Bally’s acquisition of Bet.Works’ iGaming network, rising market access and land-based presence that will soon cover 10 states with additional states expected to come, will position Bally’s to capture a large share of the projected future $50 billion US sports betting and iGaming market opportunity
The deal would give Bally broad access to the local, live sports content network of Sinclair as the single network brand and integrated partner across 21 RSNs, representing more than half of the U.S. Teams from the MLB, NBA and NHL.
Bally’s will have premium integration opportunities in Tennis Channel, home to over 95 percent of all live tennis matches broadcast in the U.S., Sinclair’s 24/7 multi-platform sports network, Stadium, and STIRR, Sinclair’s fast-growing live and on-demand content direct-to-consumer streaming app.
The Sinclair RSN portfolio will earn annual naming rights payments and a dedicated percentage of the marketing budget of Bally’s Interactive over the 10-year period. Sinclair will obtain penny warrants to purchase 14.9 percent of the common shares of Bally as well as warrants to buy up to a limit of an additional 10 percent of the common shares of Bally based on the achievement of different performance indicators.
With purchase prices beginning at $30/share and growing to $45/share, exercisable after four years, Sinclair will also obtain rights to purchase 5 percent of Bally’s common stock in four tranches.
In a press release, Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally’s Corporation’s Board of Directors, said: “This arrangement represents an opportunity to revolutionize the U.S. sports betting, gaming and media industries.
“Sinclair, with its broad holdings of stations, channels and RSNs, provides immediate, national brand recognition that will support the development of Bally’s player database for both our traditional casinos as well as our future online offerings, and ultimately deliver significant shareholder value.
“We look forward to integrating our first-in-class, omni-channel sports betting and iGaming offerings with Sinclair’s expansive broadcast network to create a more engaging and tailored experience for sports fans, positioning Bally’s to become one of the top U.S. sports betting and iGaming operators.”
Chris Ripley, President and CEO of Sinclair, commented: “Since acquiring Tennis Channel a few years ago and the RSNs last year, we have been working on developing an innovative experience that changes the way people think about and view live sports across all our platforms.
“Bally’s, with its strong brand name, premier sportsbook technology platform and expansive market access, is the perfect partner to help us change the paradigm of sports viewing across all our assets. By integrating gamification elements that allow audiences a more personalized and interactive game experience, consumers of live sports in the future can look forward to a more dynamic and engaging sports viewing experience.
“With the U.S. sports betting and iGaming market expected to ultimately reach ~$50 billion at maturity, this partnership perfectly positions our sports portfolio to fully capitalize on changing audience behaviour.”
We’re joining forces with Bally’s Corporation, announcing a transformational partnership that will change the game when it comes to the fast-growing U.S. sports betting and iGaming market. https://t.co/euBEru82FA pic.twitter.com/nNPjLwsKqD
— Sinclair Broadcast Group (@WeAreSinclair) November 19, 2020